Dressed to Kill

What did you look like this morning as you began homeschooling your children? Were you still dressed in your pajamas or sweats? Did you prepare yourself as if you were working at an 8 to 5 job, or did you skip the time-consuming effort until later? Busy homeschooling mothers don't always have time to put their best foot forward each day, especially with their appearance. We cheat by putting our hair in a ponytail again and wearing disheveled clothing as we stand instructing our children in their schoolwork.

Can you picture yourself going to school where the teachers looked like they were fit to kill instead of dressed to kill? Wouldn't learning be less attractive and somewhat discouraging to see someone stand before you day after day, not caring about what he looked like? So, why do we as homeschooling mothers think we can skip the attention to detail in our appearance before our homeschooled children?

God desires that we do our work to the best of our ability: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23). Our job as homeschoolers should be done heartily and not half-heartedly. We need to present both ourselves and the academics we teach in a professional manner that gives glory to God and encourages our children to give their best as well.

Do you know what you are going to wear to your homeschool class tomorrow? Your outfit doesn't have to be the latest fashion, but is it clean, ironed, and honoring to the Lord? Why not take the time to look your best each day to make learning more attractive to you and your child?

Father, help me to prepare each day to give homeschooling my best effort. I realize that sloppiness on the outside is a reflection of my attitude on the inside. Remind me to honor You in my appearance each day I teach my children. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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A. J 10/26/2008 10:36:56

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6: 25-34

LORI B 10/26/2008 12:51:16

usually, i love these devotionals. very inspiring and thought provoking. but this one, i think, was a bit off the mark. i don't think GOD is dishonored if i snuggle my little ones in our pajamas as we read the bible and begin our quest for knowledge. i think He rejoices that i didn't worry about my face at all and, instead, made them a hot breakfast and talked to them. He doesn't want me rushing about beautifying myself and neglecting the sweet fellowship we can have in the morning because no one has to hurry out the door. i don't look professional in my homeschool classroom, because it is not a professional institution. instead it is a place that a family can be a family and love each other the way they are without all the pretense of the world.

VICTORIA G 10/26/2008 13:11:43

This was the most offensive piece of garbage I have read in a long time. Whoever wrote it should have taken a step back and asked them self, is this message coming from me, and my personal opinion and beliefs, or is it coming from God? Surly this did not come from God. It is sexist, offensive, unbiblical and hurtful. The last post quoted the Bible enough on passages covering clothing and spending too much time worrying about it. I thank them. They have saved me some time. I'll just get to what else was offensive about that “devotional.” It assumed all home schoolteachers were mothers, women. I am sure there are some men that home school their children as well. No one says anything to a man if he is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Suddenly Mom needs to make sure she sets the alarm for 6AM to plug in the hot rollers. Ironed clothes? Really? Who even owns clothes that need ironed these days? My children and my husband-my family is more important to me then ironed clothes. I would rather spend my time with them. That's what wrinkle free fabric is all about. Praise the Lord for guiding the scientist who invented that! Did I dress like I would for an 8 to 5 job? No, I most certainly did not. Did YOU go into the woods with your children to help them catch a snake for their science class? I did. I couldn't have done that in heels and a pencil skirt. Last week I took them out to find different kinds of edible fungi native to our area. Crawling under fallen trees, wading trough streams and ponds, climbing trees-they are all wonderfully common to us now because we are NOT tied to a classroom. I am NOT tied to an 8 to 5 job and it's 8 to 5 dress code. When we read about something, we don't just read it; we get up and go find it. They are getting the most complete, hands on education they can get. Something that couldn't happen in a public or private school. It also couldn't happen if I dressed like June Cleaver. In your “devotional” you asked Wouldn't learning be less attractive and somewhat discouraging to see someone stand before you day after day, not caring about what he looked like?” and answered “Probably so.” This is your opinion. My children watched me get ready for work every day of their lives until this year. All they wanted and wished for was for me to be able to be home with them. But I had a 9 to 10 job. I wasn't lucky enough to get one of those 8 to 5's. (Not many people in the real world work those hours anymore. That shows just how completely out of touch you really are.) Now due to some changes in our life, me being too ill to work, but God blessing us with the money for me to be able to stay home, my children's wish has come true. Instead of them only seeing me before school at before they go to bed, I get the privilege of teaching them. Do they care that some mornings I don't have the strength to look like I'm ready to star in a toothpaste commercial? No, they don't. They are a blessing. They are just happy to have me with them. Happy we are together. Happy I am teaching them. They know that God cares more about what is inside of us, then outside of us. At 4 and 10, they know this, but you don't seem to. Of course when we go anywhere, they know the importance of looking your best, and putting your best foot forward. Those are life skills. People skills. JOB SKILLS they will need for the future. That is something I do teach them, and something they have been shown their whole life. However, they also know that home is a place of safety and comfort. My ATTITUDE on the outside is a reflection of my attitude on the inside. Not the fact that I am sitting on the couch reading my children Bible stories in my pajamas. All are Welcomed in our home and our classroom. Not just the best dressed. An attitude I believe Jesus would take as well.

JUDY S 10/26/2008 14:25:48

I don't think this was inappropriate at all. Of course, when we are going to the creek to study water quality, pollution, botany, insect life, etc., a nice dress or even a nice sweater and jeans is not appropriate. BUT what I've been convicted of lately is how I look when the Principal comes home - my husband. He's been with professional looking secretaries all day - with makeup, perfume, heels and even pantyhose! Since he's an attorney, he also interacts with female attorneys who look well groomed. It is important that I look nice for my children, but it is ESPECIALLY important that I take the time to put on makeup, spritz on some perfume and look well groomed for my husband. When he leaves in the morning, I want his last image of me to be an attractive one - that's what stays with him all day. When I worked outside the home, I dressed attractively (not provocatively), but nicely, for the workplace and for others. Don't I owe my husband my best? Pajamas, mussed hair & fuzzy slippers are what he sometimes sees, but reading this convicted me to get off my duff and look good for the love of my life. Thanks again for another good devotional, Daily Focus!

LYNDA B 10/26/2008 16:54:39

This is an awful story!! Usually these devotionals are uplifting, this one is not.

VICTORIA G 10/26/2008 22:38:51

Judy Seatrain, I agree with you completely that it IS important for me to look nice for my husband. Not because he would want me to do my hair and makeup for him, and certainly not because I feel like I need to compete with any other pantyhose wearing women he may work with. I do it because I want to look nice for him. He does the same for me. We may have been together for a decade, but it still feels like the first year. Everything still so shiny and new. I do my hair and makeup for my husband EVERY day. (Even the days I am in the hospital, I do it before he comes up. I don't own sweats (and I don't condemn those of you who do) I just choose attractive lounge clothing. I'm ill, and some days there is not enough energy to go around, so you choose your battles more carefully those days. But this devotional wasn't about how we dress for our husbands to keep the spark in our marriage alive. It was about educating our children. It said our slovenly appearance is causing our children to not get the most out of their educational time with us. I do not believe that our casual apparel harms their education. Being comfortable helps you concentrate. I have many friends who teach in Africa. Sometimes just sitting on a stone floor wearing shorts and flip-flops. Teaching almost naked children:) My family does deserve my best, but "my best" is different to each of them. My best to my husband is a faithful wife, loving companion, who is honest, loyal and supportive. To my children, my best is being mom. Kisser of skinned knees. Remover of bee stingers. Baker of cookies, and healer of broken hearts. (Oops, almost forgot! Catcher of the pet 6 pound rat that knows how to open his own cage door, too.) As a teacher, I am committed to giving them the best education they can get. My purpose is to help them grow to be strong Christians, and be prepared for the real world.

AMY B 10/26/2009 08:02:48

Usually, I enjoy these devotionals; however, today I was very disappointed. I feel the author is biased and skewing God's word. The author should not force his/her ideals onto their readers. It takes away the validity of the devotional and is offensive. I agree with the scriptural references left in the other comments. Furthermore, please do not imply that homeschool mothers who do not dress a certain way are not "giving their best to their children". What sort of message are you wanting us to give our children? I am hoping today is simply an off day. And, I look forward to resuming a God inspiring devotional next time. May God Bless You! :)

MARLENE H 10/26/2009 09:20:51

I was not so easily offended. Whether this devotional was inspiring or discouraging to you, please be kind in words, deeds and actions. That is how we love God, our husbands, our children and others. Appearance is an outward expression of the heart. and an action that we need to take more responsibility for. I don't think today was an off day. I believe it was a valid message. I have homeschooled my children for 17 years and I have been married for 27 years. This is a message that I have needed to hear at times. Over the years, I have realized the importance of taking time to look my best for the day that God has planned. Thank you for this devotional. God has blessed you with grace.

LAURA I 10/26/2009 11:04:12

One of the benefits of homeschooling for my family is that we learn in our pajamas if we want to. We have had enough of the rat race of school. At school my sons were judged on their appearance pnly. Not as a human being made in God's image. This left them feeling insecure. By the way, I don't care what 'teachers' at school look like. One of the major perks of homeschooling is that we have the freedom to do it dressed however we want to.

KARI T 10/26/2009 11:38:44

I didn't think this was an article meant to offend. I took it to mean that making the effort to be organized and neat would be helpful on a day to day basis but that doesn't mean that I can't take the day here and there to snuggle with my kids or have a chill out day. THAT is the best part of home schooling.

REBECCA S 10/26/2009 12:15:09

I think we, as women, have enough image issues to worry about. We shouldn't have to worry about looking "attractive" to our children as we teach them in our home. They already love us for who we are. After the negative responses to this email last year, I'm surprised to see it again in my inbox. Hopefully this will be the last time. I like reading DailyFocus emails that are uplifting and address the wonderful, positive reasons why we are home with our kids.

CHERYL M 10/26/2009 15:48:18

I am homeschooling for the first time this year. My son is 13 and has special needs. He is the one who asked me to dress "nice, like a teacher". I am grateful for the opportunity to be home with him and we have plenty of days when dressing nicely does not work because of field trips or outside activities. However, even though I know God is not judging me, my son expects me to dress like a teacher. I try to dress like a casual teacher for the glory of God and to let my son know we are doing serious schoolwork in a different manner from his previous school years. I enjoy the devotional. Thank you for the blessings. CAM

TERRA K 10/26/2009 17:37:00

Blah, Blah, Blah. What the heck? Seriously, this reminds me of the indoctrination that my grandmother described growing up in a strict religious home (I will leave out the name of the church) where they emphasized HOW to put on your makeup, HOW to dress,HOW to behave etc to be a godly woman. If you have a husband who works with women who are all dressed up and you feel the need to compete, then by all means, put those curlers in! But for the rest of us, I think we can figure out when we're slacking off a little too much and need to step it up. I think this article was way over the top. Editors......?

MELVIN D 10/26/2009 18:05:59

I thought it was a good article. I didn't find it offense, on the contrary, I thought it was true. Yes, I do stay in my pajamas many times, but this article made me realize that I should fix myself a little more for my children. I didn't have a problem dressing up for other people at work so why not do it for my children? I probably won't do it al the time but it really makes me want to do it more often. Thanks for the article.

LESLEY B 10/26/2009 19:09:57

I couldn't believe what I was reading .....are you serious. Yeah I'm gonna get all gussied up for finger painting, science project, runny little noses mayham....I dont know wheather to laugh or yell. Now I don' t think homeschooling is an excuse for us Mommas to leave the house in what we are in when we are at home...I draw the line, but my kids love that Momma's comfortable and not DISTRACTED my my mascara, or 30 minute curl set hair....now having said that....I do on the days I have the time or get up earlier than everyone else fix up and put on my makeup...which actually saves me from doing it later....but to make an issue out of it.....there are so many other issues to touch on...and pray about......this to me seems like a waste of the devotion that you provide...I honor my LORD with my heart and by following HIS will for my life....besides I never had a well dress teacher......

TERESA C 10/26/2009 19:24:25

I'm sure she is not saying to get dressed in your Sunday best, but we should care to some extent of what we look like and what our husbands prefer. We shouldn't be so quick to get offended. Come on ladies if you have time to sit and write lengthy emails about how you disapprove of this devotional then you may certianly have time to put on nice jeans and a nice shirt and comb your hair. I know I walk around the house like that more than I want to admit but I also feel lazy doing it...I do not want to portray that to my children. Hey, if your going to loaf around the house like that then do it and try not to get so offended when it's brought to your attention. No one said you had to do it, it's really up to you and your comfort level. I actually had to laugh (in a good sense) at this one...I remembered once when I was trying to teach phonics in my husbands boxer shorts in front of the window!!! I was so tired I didn't realize it until my husband pointed out that the neighbors may not appreciate it!!!!! Lighten up ladies....find peace and joy in the Lord. Those who love His word are not easily offended!! God Bless

MARGARET S 10/28/2009 06:41:59

Wow! I am amazed at the negativity in these responses!! And the very un-Christlike attitude to someone simply encouraging us to take a few minutes to put ourselves and our children in a good learning environment. The scriptures that were posted by AJ are completely irrelevant to what is being discussed. Those scriptures are emphasizing that we should be trusting on God to provide for our needs. They have nothing to do with HOW we dress. And there is also much research and proof out there that when we are dressed sloppy we listen sloppy and we learn sloppy. Why do you think we are not allowed to wear our sweat pants to work everyday? We are just not as productive! That is NOT to say there is not room for snuggling in our jammies and reading a good book! BOTH have a place in our lives. I was very grateful for the friendly reminder put here. I have found myself taking less and less time with my appearance until later in the day when my husband comes home. I had not given it thought as to how it was affecting my children's attitudes... If mom is not going to get prepared for school and teaching with seriousness (not stern but putting forth my best effort), then why should we? Thank you for the good reminder to take a few moments in the morning that can make a world of difference in our day!! And Thank you Teresa C... well said!

CRYSTAL M 10/28/2009 22:16:46

I loved this post! I needed to hear it. I so often get the I-just-don't-care additude and it shows in more than in just my looks. I never got the impression that this post was to make anyone feel guilty about not looking like a proffesional stereotyped woman who is cold and heartless, but rather the opposite, that I love my kids and want to be beautiful for them. I do it for everyone else, why not for them when they are the most important to me. Besides, I like to look pretty for them. My little 5 year old boy thinks mommy is a real princess when I where perfume. What is wrong with beuty that people take such offence to it. She didn't say there wasn't time for pajamas and cuddling days, just that our additudes should not be complacent. Nor did she remark anything about not being lovable if you wern't all dressed up. It was simply a matter of saying, "I would like to bring a touch of something beautiful into the lives of my children today, since we try to surround them in buaety every other way." And yes, even a cuddle on the couch in pajamas is beautiful. I think she was getting at the additudes in our hearts more than anything. Let's be careful as to not get into gnostic thinking, believing the body is evil, therefore outward looks are evil too. My kids still love me even with messed hair and the same clothes on that I slept in, just as my husband does, but I try to dress up a little better because I love them and they are worth it. But if I may also add, I am shocked to see some of the comments on here. I would expect to see some curteous negative comments on here, but some of these are visious and uncalled for. Especially if we are considered christian woman. If you did not like the comments, then politely say so. There are others who find great incouragement in these posts. As for me, I plan to set my alarm in the morning for a change. Thank for the post!

LESLEY B 10/29/2009 10:07:51

Margaret S, I take offense to your calling some comments un-chirstian like. Frankly it isnt your place to say so...we are what we are wheather you approve of the comments or not. Watch out for the messure you use on others...at least we can be honest about the way this makes us feel...I dont thiink its fair or Christianly for that matter to judge someones comment. I think it is lovely that there are Christian women who are truely beautiful so much inside that it really doesnt matter about what we are wearing or what our hair looks like....no matter what, I have tought my kids that beauty is truely on the inside....and that is what they see and will continue to see...not only in me but others. I hope in the future of commenting.....we will refrain from childish name calling.

MICHELLE A 11/01/2009 10:27:40

I just started receiving these daily devotionals and unfortunately this was my first one. It totally offended me but I kept a clear mind. The other devotions I have received since and pretty good and on target in my mind. I have read some of the other comments on this and it seems that the ladies who agreed with the comment were mainly thinking about their husband and looking nice for him. I do agree with that statement. That is not what this devotion was saying however, it was saying that our kids will learn better if we are dressed up. I believe they contradicted themselves with the Bible verse they used. I believe dressing to kill is of society not of God and the Bible. My husband repeatedly tells me how much he loves me and so do my kids and they do this whether I am dressed nicely for Church or lounging in my sweats. I have read many devotional books and letters throughout my years and this is the first time that I have ever disagreed with what was written. Thanks for reading.

VIRGINIA R 10/26/2010 00:23:20

I read an article similar to this many years ago when I was homeschooling preschool and 1st grade daughters, as well as taking care of three other children and our son that had some learning difficulties. I remember the stress it caused trying to make sure I had something clean to wear at 6:00 ( I only had a few outfits that even fit because of a tight budget and a body that changed every time a child was born) , on top of getting supper on the table, making the house look calm and inviting, and keeping the right attitude. There's truth to this article, but I say try for a day or two a week to make an evening a little extra special. Having things not picture perfect was part of the sacrifice we made when we decided to home school. Things in a home that children are home all day are going to be just a little on the undone side, cause there's always someone available to undo it...and usually it's just when you think you've got it all together.

CATHY T 10/26/2010 00:47:15

Strange that there are so many comments disagreeing with the article, and yet all those posts are rated negatively while the relatively few posts agreeing have positive ratings. Makes me wonder who's been doing the rating. Not that I'm suspicious or anything....

MELISSA G 10/26/2010 00:56:28

I am very encouraged by this devotion and exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you! This devotion is not saying to be dolled up in expensive clothes and makeup ... but simply to be an example of respect to your children during times of instruction in the way we dress and present ourselves. Its meant to be encouraging and uplifting. When our kids go to College or the Work field - unkept appearances are not acceptable because they do not show respect for the job. Likewise, how we present ourselves to our children in times of instruction should be respectful. There are times for comfortable unkept clothing .... research times, reading time, art, etc etc .... but I felt this devotion was talking about instruction time - the times of the day where we present ourselves to our children as "teachers". I want to be a respectful example of what a teacher should be and this devotion has given me the encouragement to continue to present myself in a manner that is respectful not only to the Lord but to my children, husband, friends, strangers, etc.

CARSON AND ANN M 10/26/2010 01:02:36

You know this post kindof hits home...another angle to think about is this. I have come to find out that I get a better start on the day and have a better day when I get up and take a shower and put myself in order. I also think that it teaches our children that when they are grown if they are working young men that they need to be able to get up and make themselves presentable for their jobs. It also helps the young woman who may someday have their own husbands and children to see the importance of getting up in the morning and making themselves look nice for their husbands. I also agree with the woman who says that we need to look nice for our husbands. I think that we take forgranted that since we are married that there is no need to try to look good for our men. But there is a need and what a great blessing for a man to come home and find his woman looking nice and attractive to him.

Jeff D 10/26/2010 02:27:16

Little eyes are watching you There are little eyes upon you and they're watching night and day. There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say. There are little hands all eager to do anything you do; And a little boy who's dreaming of the day he'll be like you. You're the little fellow's idol, you're the wisest of the wise. In his little mind about you no suspicions ever rise. He believes in you devoutly, holds all you say and do; He will say and do, in your way when he's grown up just like you. There's a wide eyed little fellow who believes you're always right; and his eyes are always opened, and he watches day and night. You are setting an example every day in all you do; For the little boy who's waiting to grow up to be like you.

JOY W 10/26/2010 03:49:09

You must have been passing by my window when you wrote this. Thank you for convicting me so much and telling me what I have needed to hear on many occasions, not just this, when you have literally seemed to read my mind.

NANCY T 10/26/2010 04:10:10

I don't think this was meant to be offensive, I think it was meant to be looked at in a manor of do we take what we are doing seriously, or are we being slobs and teaching our children to be slobs also. Are we showing our children an attitude that we care about what we are doing, or are we going to sloppily push through. I did not take this as offensive, but would i walk into a church service all disheveled or would i do my best for my Lord. We are not talking Park Ave. Suits, we are talking about the attitude of our hearts, how we look can be what comes out of our hearts. nancyt.

ROSEMARIE H 10/26/2010 04:22:12

I did not take offense to this message. I think that it is just something for us to take note of. We are our childrens' teachers. They see how and if we care enough about ourselves and how we show ourselves to them and to the rest of the world. I do have a tendency to school in my pajamas. I am the first up in my house, and rather than make a lot of noise getting changed, I simply go downstairs in my pjs. I will think twice about this, however. If I want my children to relax at the end of the day, I have them change into their pjs in preparation for bedtime. I don't think that I want to have them relax as we do our schoolwork by staying in their pajamas! Food for thought!!!

JACQUELINE G 10/26/2010 04:33:16

I agree with this article full heartedly. This is not an article that is putting down women for wearing sweats and throwing their hair in a ponytail. It is about attitude of the heart. When I go to church I want to honor the Lord, I may not wear fancy dresses, but our family has learned that sweats are not bad, they are just not the best. This gal writing the article is not saying to wear pearls, pencil skirts, and stilettos. She is making a point that we are not setting a good example to our kids when we don't take care of ourselves. Let me tell you I am guilty of this as well. There are many days I think I don't have 2 seconds to brush my teeth, but I find time to do it...coz well, you know why! If our husbands like to come home to a clean, fresh jeans n t-shirt wearing mama, don't you think maybe our kids might like it too...wear the hiking boots, and comfy jeans and go romp with the kids...but take some care...that's the point. I am perplexed by the tone of so many of these opinions. They seem to be vehemently against this article. I would want to understand why they are so hurt or offended by these words...maybe they just looked in the mirror?

Rita Y 10/26/2010 04:39:48

I loved this article. Thank you for encouraging all of us to do our best. Thank you!

AIMEE K 10/26/2010 04:41:25

I appreciate this comment because I don't think it was meant to offend, but rather to cause us to look at ourselves not merely as our outward appearance, but our attitude. There are no "one size fits all" comments, but there definitely are some people who need to hear comments like this to re-motivate them, or at least cause them to think. I have worked a 40 hour job, a 75 hour job, two jobs, and more recently, no job (outside the house), and I have had to check my attitude...my outward appearance to others. I believe the original author of this comment was merely trying to remind us that even if we don't have to go outside our house and "please" employers, we need to put our best foot forward wherever we are and for whatever purpose we have been called. Going outside with your kids? Do it with a happy heart and appropriate clothing to crawl around in the mud! Curling up on the couch with a book? Do it in comfortable clothes and with a dramatic attitude-ready to make the words jump off the page! Going on a field trip to the State House? Dress sharply and discuss why it is important to look your best in certain situations (influence)! Just having a regular school day? Dress in whatever makes you able to do your "job" most effectively. Well I am an advocate for being comfortable, the reality of the world we live in is that people with influence dress nicely, with hair and makeup (women), and are very neat and clean in appearance. I do think it is important that our children learn these skills, as well as the "why" behind them. I know that whether I like it or not, I would not take my taxes to a CPA who was scattered and disorganized in appearance, and I would probably not think as highly of our President if he gave his addresses in sweatpants and t-shirts. The point of all my ramble: Whatever you are doing...do it to your best ability, attitude, and appearance, for the task you are completing!

KIMBERLY B 10/26/2010 04:57:08

"Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them." THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! for the courage and strength to speak the truth, and I receive it in love and appreciation! It taps me on the shoulder- the same spot the LORD has been tapping me on about this VERY subject. It's not about pleasing man, nor my children, but that I as HIS daughter represent Him. Yes, there are times where I am relaxed and casual. But of late, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me on this very subject- because I represent the Kingdom of Christ and God. I want to be a mature daughter of God and glorify AND SUBMIT TO HIM in every area of my life. My hearts concern is not my husband, whom I love and respect deeply and dearly, not my children whom I love and respect also, not brothers or sisters in Christ, not family or friends, nor any man, but ONLY my Heavenly Father. This devotional was RIGHT ON TARGET. Just as I thank God for His wonderful provisions and blessings, I also thank Him for reproof and correction and instruction in righteousness. I desire holiness and being a women who prayerfully shows the love, glory and beauty of God in every area of my life...just as I witness from HIM in all of His beautifully arrayed and adorned creation! Rejoice sisters, God is calling His daughters to a higher standard- HIS STANDARD, NOT MANS! Again, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Glory to God!!! Kim B.

CHARYL S 10/26/2010 05:00:54

I am really disappointed in commentors who slam the author. Too many people feel justified in being nasty because of the anonymity the internet provides. My pastor does not always preach to my specific needs but he does preach God's word and so does this author. I have been reading this devotional for over a year. They do not always apply to my situtation but many times they do and I am so blessed. Open up your hearts, people. God speaks to those who listen!

MICHELLE S 10/26/2010 05:20:15

I'm shocked at how negative people take things. So you don't agree with something said in the devotional. Take what you can from it and move on.

MELANIE G 10/26/2010 05:28:50

In the Bible I am instructed to do ALL things with excellence, as unto the Lord. THANK YOU for this blog which reminds us that we are always teaching our children through our example, and I do not wish to teach my kids that sloppy, quick, half-hearted presentation is acceptable in any are of their lives! This blog has provoked some really ANGRY reactions - maybe before you start hurling mean words back at the blogger, check your heart and figure out WHY this made you so mad. What exactly is WRONG with doing your very best, every day, at all times, in EVERYTHING???? The Christian homeschool community sells itself short everytime people outside look at us and see messy, sloppy, unkempt moms who look stressed out and underappreciated!

RYAN E 10/26/2010 05:37:51

Thank you, all, for your wonderful discussion and convictions regarding this matter. Janet, the author, is currently out of the office but I'm certain she'd love to respond to many of your comments when she returns.

MARCIA W 10/26/2010 05:38:12

I didn't feel like the devotional was saying you can never wear sweats or put you hair in a ponytail. I just took it to say that you need to be careful that you don't exhibit an attitude of unimportance. Alot of companies now have a relaxed dress day for employees including wearing jeans so the fact there was a reference to getting ready for work doesn't mean you have to wear high heels and make-up every day when you're teaching. I also think it is important to realize that people are going to have different opinions and we shouldn't feel threatened if someone says something that we disagree with. People need to do what is best for their situation and be confident of that along with allowing other people to have their opinion. God created each of us differently and we need to be respectful and realize that people may differ with our viewpoint because of their experiences and to what they have been exposed.

EVELYN H 10/26/2010 05:38:46

These devotionals are meant to inspire as well as convict. This one did neither for me and that is fine. It was good to read someone's opinion, as that is what all of these are, simply someone's opinion. If the writer wants to look her best for her children, I see nothing wrong with that, it is absolutely her choice. I do not feel the need to do this with my son, and that is perfectly fine with us. Please, try to take these devotionals for what they are meant to do, inspire, uplift and sometimes correct and convict. But do not make this your personal forum to gripe because it does not apply to you. If it does not apply to you, wonderful, go on your merry way and homeschool your children the way you always have. I ask each of you to seriously take a look deep inside, did this anger you or did the sting of conviction come upon you. Ouch! I know that hurts but sometimes when the Lord uses others to place His conviction upon us, it does smart a little. Here's the thing, this devotional neither convicted nor inspired and that is just fine with me. I have my time with the Lord and His gentle Holy Spirit shows me of the things that I need to work on. Obviously, getting gussied up for homeschool is not one of them, but to some of you it may be. Maybe you have been dealing with this on some level and reading it today brought out some emotions that were not to favorable. Don't let your emotions get the best of you, instead take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit if this is something he is trying to get through to you or should you just shelve it and know that it does not apply to you. As for the person who wanted to know why it is assumed that all the teachers are moms, I can say that my husband and I have both been blessed to homeschool our son. We, as parents, have the wonderful responsibility of teaching our son and I can assure you that my husband does not get dressed up to do this. Our laid back atmosphere may seem lackadaisical to some, but we have found that this is what works best for our family and for our son. We know when to get dressed up and it makes those times more special when we can put on that new outfit for Sunday or where that special shirt to go out to dinner. We also know that wearing the latest T-shirt from the last Christian concert we attended is fun to do at school. Please ladies AND gentlemen, do not be offended, check and see if this is something that maybe God is placing on your heart to deal with and if not go about your way today, enjoying the pleasure that we have in this country to school our children the way we see fit.

TRACEY K 10/26/2010 05:44:08

I took at this as gentle encouragement to remind us to do and be our best for ourselves and our children. I am sure that some of us reading this post often do their school in PJ's and like the flexibility of not having to scurry around in the morning getting "ready" and enjoy the relaxed pace of the school day - and that is find and dandy and if that is what works the "best" great. Others of us reading this need the encouragement to get ourselves up and dressed and take care of our appearance (especially those of us first time home school moms) as we ALL, if we really are honest, would admit that we feel and do better when we have taken time to take care of ourselves. What "taking care of ourselves" looks like to each individual varies from family to family, and I honestly believe that that is what this devotional is about. I am certainly NOT going to be the one dressing up and doing my make up for home school days. However, I know personally for me, the days I get up, wash my face, get my hair NEAT, whether styled or pulled back in a barette, dress in something comfortable (sometimes it is the outfit I will be wearing to the gym a little later in the day, other times it is a skirt and casual top or anything in between) that I would not be embarrassed if someone knocked on the door, THOSE are the days that are the best for me. On the days I have skipped these steps, I have not been at my best for my kids. So, I would encourage you to take the words of this devotional in general terms....do those things in the morning that make YOU be your best and that work the best for your family. As with ALL other things in life and in home school...what works for one may not work for another. Be gracious to those whose definition of "best" isn't the same as yours.

HEATHER B 10/26/2010 05:44:21

Since the way I dress actually affects my morale and my energy, I can agree with the author about the value of dressing neatly, vs. slouching through the day. However, I don't think God really cares. Nor did my children. It is more in the realm of personal preparation and the feeling of being on top of things that I believe this POV is right.

SUSAN M 10/26/2010 06:03:50

"Comparing ourselves among ourselves we are not wise" I think the rating thing at the bottom of the post sometimes gives two for the click of one! (Really, I watched it changed as I clicked various articles). We do need to check our heart if our opinions are stated with anger and sarcasm. I agree with the article in theory. She was just trying to gently combat the "pajama mama" syndrome that overtakes many stay-at-home moms. If I have on nice athletic clothing and I can answer the door without running to my bedroom or the bathroom then that's a good thing! The verse that says "God looks on the heart" is true ...the first part is that "man looks on the outward appearance" is true as well (I didn't say it was "right" but it is true.). Jesus found favor with God AND man ...and He is our model. If we get angry at a mere blog then maybe it shows that our heart is a bit too in tune to what others say. God knows where you are and what circumstances you are in and we each have the day put before us to honor Him and show love to our families. We each have different circumstances. We need to give each other some space....the author to express her concerns/burden and comment writers to express thiers but it all needs to be said with grace.

MARIANNE H 10/26/2010 06:06:00

I didn't take thistoo personally even though I am sitting here in sweats & a t-shirt. But it IS PE day in our home. Loveliness comes in many shapes and forms. If our situation does not provide for professional dress then God knows our station and is pleased with our effort to "do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men". A washed face, brushed teeth, combed hair and clean clothes along with a smile gets me through MANY mornings and days as I have the joy of the Lord in my heart and His happiness on my lips! Blessings~

ANGELA H 10/26/2010 06:13:36

I would only ask respectfully that we remember conflict is an opportunity to glorify God. This was a sister in Christ sharing with us and even if we disagree no matter how valid and Bible based our disagreement is, we should handle it in such a way that is glorifying to God. Don't get me wrong, I know how difficult that is and I am gulity of not using conflict to glorify God on many occassions. Just a loving reminder. Angela H.

ALLAN L 10/26/2010 06:30:04

Very encouraging. My four children learn better when my teeth are brushed, my clothes are clean, and my hair is in place. I don't look beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, but I look like I care enough to try for them. I felt like this article is just what I needed on a cold, dreary day that would be easy for me skimp on my effort.

TRACY R 10/26/2010 06:40:32

When the first three of our 8 children were young I didn't get dressed up and they turned out fine. Now that our 4 oldest are (young)/adults I take the time to work out and take care of myself, dress nicely, ect... each day. Do what's best for you and your children. But don't forget to pray! Tracy

MISTY C 10/26/2010 06:42:02

What I got from this is not necessarily about how you dress, although it was stated that way. The way it was worded was somewhat careless in my humble opinion, but it did however reaffirm for me that it is important to be an example to our children in all that we do. I know for each of us that is going to the Lord to ask him to reveal our hearts to us and anything that is preventing us from walking in His ways. If part of that is being washed, dressed and presentable so be it. If you are initially offended by this author -go to the Lord in prayer and ask him for His answer on this subject, as His opinion is the only one that truly matters.

CARMEN D 10/26/2010 06:44:22

Oh my, I am very surprised at the discussion on this devotional. Just remember to chew on the meat and spit out the bones. If it does not apply to you in your life just let it go. Personally when I get myself dressed to get going with school I also have a home run business. I feel more "professional on the phone";) and also put together if I am dressed in comfortable clothes and shoes (sandals or tennis shoes). I will have to tell you that I have saved money in not using so much makeup than when I worked in the corporate world. My three girls are comfortable if I am, we do have pajama days! This is just me you may be different. I praise the Lord that we are different and bring to the table individuality.

TONI U 10/26/2010 06:44:26

As homeschooling mothers we are setting the example of nearly everything for our children. How we glorify God, how we handle conflict, how we dress, proper hygiene and the list goes on. As I desire my children to be their best...I also must attempt to be my best...as unto the Lord.

BRENNA H 10/26/2010 06:49:37

i also was not impressed with this devotion. What is interesting to me is that the Lord was able to speak to me through it. I was getting ready to close the devotion when I saw that people could comment. The first comment I read was the Matthew bible verse about God clothing the lillies and His amazing control over all our problems. It was exactly the news I needed to hear. I have a laundry list of concerns I have repeatly brought before the Lord, and today I finally got the message to lay the down and let them go. Praise God for answers in places we least expect. Ya gotta Love a God who truly cares. Yea God!

LETHA T 10/26/2010 06:54:13

Maybe the wrong title for today's devotion but never the less a great message! No, I'm not going to "dress to kill" but I will take to heart that "God desires that we do our work to the best of our ability: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men"" It's important that my kids see me doing my best and putting my best foot forward - giving my best effort. I can apply this to many areas of my life and will. Thank you for today's devotion!

OLIVIA S 10/26/2010 06:57:04

I don't have a problem with this, but that fact that it said to do everything the best we could. That was a life lesson, a good one, that I had just learned today. Sometimes I see myself not putting all my strength, or just say my best in everything I do, I noticed that being lazy isn't good! Father I choose to do my best in everything I do today, tomorrow, and the future. I love you, LORD! thanks for the devotion. I these. Keep on posting. ^-^

CHRISTY T 10/26/2010 06:59:33

I think this story is right on target !! Ihave found myself being convicted of this very thing lately, Ladies ,I think we should remember that we are homeschooling because we have allowed the Lord to hold us and our children to a higher standard. In the least ,this means putting on clean clothes at the start of our day.Do we let our children come to the school room in dirty, torn or old clothes? Their hair uncombed or teeth unbrushed? If so shame on us,myself included...

tiffany c 10/26/2010 07:11:01

I was encouraged by this devotional. Thank You!!! Let's remember that 1Corinthians 13:4 states that love is not easily angered (offended).

JOYANNA E 10/26/2010 07:13:59

Here is another angle to look at this. This is my personal experience. We are preparing our children to be successful citizens. I've been HSing for a few years now (The oldest two are in College and University now) and I was taken more seriously by my children, my husband (who is my partner in this endeavour but I am usually the one who makes the rubber meet the road due to work schedules etc.), our extended family, neighbours .... When I was ready to face the day. Neat and clean just like normal. If I had a ponytail it was a neat ponytail, if I was dressed casually, it was neat and clean. This practice does not only go for me but for the rest of hte house, neat and tidy. Therefore I was able to not have issues with children's rooms because this was just something we did. We have been able to do all things to His glory. (Here is my point) It became everyday practice and others saw that it was everyday practice. As our children have gotten older and have been away these principles have become an everyday practice. It has become their standard. When there have been times when I was not capable of staying on top of it,(3+ year cancer battle/chemo etc.) they were taught to pitch in. I've been heard many a time "You are not above picking that up off the floor". We begin as we mean to go on. If we teach our children to put their best foot forwards, it will become an every habit that when in the storms of life that will come to every door at some point gives them that taste of normallacy to help see them through. May todays devotional help us be a better form of who we are. Please do not allow this post to offend you it is only my opinion through my experience.

BRIDGETTE B 10/26/2010 07:16:00

I didn't find it discouraging at all. And she is so right, our children learn what they see. My daughter LOVES to get "dressed up" for school too. She fixes her hair instead of starting school off with hair a mess. She brushes her teeth, washes her face. She "comes to school" with matching clothes. Most of the time they're play clothes, not our "good clothes" for going out, but still they match. She sometimes puts bracelets on. But she's learning to take pride in what she looks like because I take pride in what I look like in front of her, matching clothes on, hair fixed, at least lip gloss and mascara on. That attitude will definitely help her as she gets older and is entering the college or the job force. There is a way we should dress for our "not a hang-around-the-house kinda Saturday. And school days are not meant to a "hang-around-the-house kinda day." School days are very important days. We don't have to beat them over the head with it. We just show it, and they will follow.

kathy f 10/26/2010 07:29:36

I love ponytails!!!

LAUREE S 10/26/2010 07:32:38

Interesting. I didn't find this one uplifting either. I do understand the context, but my kids like the flexibility of wearing pj's for school, something they could only do once a year at public school. My "getting dressed" time usually occurs during nap time unless we are going somewhere. Not likely to change it right now either.

PATRICIA O 10/26/2010 07:48:59

I dont think a little effort would hurt anyone, but it should not be the focus of the person's day.

CHAROLETTE B 10/26/2010 07:50:36

It's really scary to hear some of these comments coming from people who say they are christians. We are call to do our very best at all times. This article is just a reminder of how important it is to do our very best. We as homeschool parents are often viewed as slackers/lazy to some outsiders. Not that we have something to prove to anyone but to think that our appearance doesn't play a roll on how we conduct ourselves is a gross mistake. When we look good we feel good and when we feel good we act good. Some posters have brought their personal health issues into the devotional. It's not meant to be that way, if you have problems that prevent you from doing as much as others than do what you can. PJ's are for sleeping not for all day long. When you start you day you should get cleaned up anyway. Situations come up and you should not have to be on the alarm to get dressed. Your children should not be in pj's either. They should know to get cleaned up and prepared to start their day fresh. This is not an insult to any of us as hard working parents. It is or should be a welcomed refresher to the purpose we live each day. Good better best never settle for less til your good is your better and your better is you best. Our children deserve the best. That means a parent/teacher who make them feel they are so worth it. They are not our bosses but or babies. If we can do it for the people outside of our homes how much more should we do it for the ones inside. Let's not get side tracked on the things and ones who mean the most to us. Love brings out the best in us or it should anyway. Let that be the reason/purpose you get dressed, clean your school area and teach your precious babies. Keep teaching and loving the Lord parents!!!!! I too enjoyed the devotional, keep them coming.....

KITTY O 10/26/2010 07:51:59

I get it and I'm not offended. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family. They will appreciate it and I believe that honors God. I also am new to homeschooling and have a 13 yr. old special needs (ADHD & borderline Aspbergers) . We're still adjusting 3 wks. into this. It's so hard for my son to stay focussed . I'm really feeling drained.

SUNNY L 10/26/2010 07:58:55

You know, as I read this, looking completely disheveled (again) with hair falling out of YESTERDAY's ponytail, and not really giving it my all, yet wondering what I could do that might change the attitude of my home-school, this totally spoke to me today. God may not require the extra efforts but if it makes us feel better about the job we are doing, or makes our kids take us more seriously, then it would certainly be worth it. And I think God does look at the attitude of our heart. If a guest were coming, I would look a lot better than this - that's for sure! So, I'm up and outta here to correct the lazy start to my day. PS - Kitty - praying for you to feel refreshed and excited about the possibilities now that you are working with your 13 year old at home. May the rewards be beyond your wildest dreams! :)

CHRISTINE K 10/26/2010 08:09:16

I was a bit shocked at this one myself. I am usually so inspired and uplifted reading these that this is the first time I have read any comments! I was pleased to read the biblical support against this opinion/peer pressure type idea, even though I hope the author didn't mean it this way. Thank you to those of you who provided that biblical support. I nearly always am dressed, hair done, etc. because I feel better that way, but I cannot expect everyone to feel the same way. It is just my nature to get up and put myself together. However, my daughter LOVES the fact that she can wear her pajamas all day if she wants to and be comfortable in her HOME. She is just as productive and loves God just as much perfectly dressed or in her pajamas! Isn't that one of the benefits of being home? I certainly think so. And this does NOT mean teeth are not brushed! You can be clean and in pajamas. There is so much pressure in the world to conform to a certain false appearance on the outside which also tends to lead to confusion and ungodliness on the inside. Being at home allows our children to be the individuals God created them to be, without exterior expectations of perfect clothing/appearance. There is time for everything, but in the home, we should be able to relax without a pressed shirt every day. Our kids are blessed to be able to have days of cuddles and comfort. We mothers and fathers are blessed to be able to not have quite as much laundry to do, which in turn blesses our kids who get more time with us unstressed, and certainly that is honoring God. Ponytails, which I hardly wear, but am certainly not offended by, should not be criticized. A ponytail is a certain kind of fashion and often hard to put up neatly! Let's not be critical of other Christians who want to wear neat little ponytails in the sweats or in their best dress! I can see where this writer was going, but it veered off track to the offensive by being harshly critical. It painted a picture of sloppiness and was telling us we don't care the way we should....ouch! I say we pray for the writer and hope he/she reads this so they can honor God without judging themselves or others through the same glasses our current "all about me" society does. Also, for ourselves to stay strong in this endeavor. Lord God, help us all to not be judgmental of each other and the way we run our homeschools. It is our duty to raise our children with your Word, please help us to stay strong. Help us to recognize that everything apart from your Word is just man's idea of what we should do and be. Thank you Lord for providing all we truly need in your Word.

EDWIDGE S 10/26/2010 08:23:39

Hi everyone~ I am Christian mom to two preschool-age girls. I actually haven't started homeschooling yet, but our family signed up with AOP to kind of familiarize ourselves with this alternative as we consider it. I am among those not offended by today's devotional. It's funny, I'd actually made up in my mind that, if we did indeed homeschool, I would be deliberate in making sure our program was as structured as possible, from a morning routine (washing up, getting dressed, making up beds, prayer, proverb of the day, review of family principles and home rules, songs and journaling ...) to our academic day. I've actually started to make a habit of this routine already. I've found that I'm more confident, organized, energetic, productive, and purposeful when our days run this way. My children benefit from it too. It's what works for us. Moreover, I think, inasmuch as you can, it's a good social habit to develop to be ready for an unexpected morning visitor ... to be ready to make a trip to a place you hadn't planned to go. I don't think that means a pencil skirt and heels (as someone had mentioned) but some jeans or khakis, and a casual top and some grooming certainly can't hurt anyone. I want my kids to enjoy the benefits of homeschooling while being prepared to go out into the world understanding what it means to dress appropriately for the activity/task before them/environment they're in and manage their time well to optimize organization and productivity. I think that's important. What I really found discouraging were some of the posts. I just felt like a non-Christian reading them would be laughing at us. "There those Christians go again! THEY can't even agree on what God's Word says or what He wants from them ... so why should I bother with any of it." It's truly, truly disheartening to see us talk to each other or refer to the author of this devotional SO hostilely. I agree with and thank Margaret S for her posts about the scriptures in the first post not being really applicable here. I didn't read all the posts before composing my own, so I'm not sure if someone already mentioned this, but my mind drifted to passages about the virtuous woman in Proverbs: how she gets up while it's still dark (v. 15), sets about her work vigorously (v. 17), is clothed in fine linen and purple (v. 22), and her children arise and call her blessed (v. 28). She's hardworking, a supportive partner to her husband, a business woman; she is thoughtful, generous, prepared, strong and dignified, wise, vigilant, and of course, God-fearing. Perhaps, we should just ask our children what they think and/or what they'd prefer. *smiling* Or perhaps we should ask ourselves, "Am I setting a good example? Am I giving them my best as a teacher/parent/LIFE educator (as opposed to just "academic" educator)?" If your honest answer is "yes" and God's Word backs that up, then I should think that the peace that comes from that would impede any sort of hostile reaction to this devotional. Sorry for the long post. I've not been disappointed by any of the devotionals. Some of them meet a need and satisfy me fully like a perfect, well-rounded meal (laughing) and some are just a bit-size snack. God bless you teaching parents and your children!

Jenn K 10/26/2010 08:23:44

I really enjoyed today's devotion. I didn't feel the author judging any homeschooling parent for cozying up with their kids in the morning. Actually, I have struggled with not getting dressed each day before we start school and this passage encouraged me to change my habits. I often start schooling in my pjs and before I realize it, the day is half over and I am still looking like I just rolled out of bed. When I stay in my pjs, I feel lazy. Maybe some don't, but I do and I am probably not alone. What is the first thing an athlete does before training? They get dressed in their active wear. I have even heard of runners who keep their running shoes next to the bed so that they can put them on immediately upon waking so that they won't get distracted from their run. Doctors wear scrubs or coats. Police officers wear official uniforms. Why can't we, as teachers, wear something that projects our goal? If you are going out in the woods for the lesson of course you will dress appropriately. What's wrong with feeling good about yourself as you present the daily lessons to your kids? I don't feel very good when my hair is uncombed, I still have dried crusties in my eyes, I don't have fresh deodarant on, and my pj's are still what I wore all day yesterday for school. I plead with you who have come unglued on this author to take a couple steps back and see the real meaning of the passage. Nylons and heels were never mentioned. Of course I won't be ironing my outfit for homeschooling, but that is not enough to fly off the handle. We talk about being christians, yet we pounce at even the hint of raising our standards. The scripture quoted is a great example of how the Lord looks upon us, yes, but let's not pass over the end of the scripture where it says "the rest will be added unto these". If we focus on what is right, the other things will fall into place....like presenting ourselves each day as something special and blessed by God. I am deeply saddened by the hateful comments posted towards this author. I hope he/she can see the good postings and feel appreciated for encouraging us that really needed a good boost for the day. Keep up the good Lord's work!

DAVINA B 10/26/2010 08:45:50

I couldn't agree more with this! I set an example for my children when I take the time to excercise and be physically fit. I'm taking care of the body God gave me. This is not about vanity - it's about putting your best foot forward! Taking a little time to make yourself look ready/nice for the day shows you care. I always prefer a teacher, waiter, doctor, who looks like they CARE about their appearance. My daughter already recognizes that she is regarded/shown more respect (when in public) when she takes the time to make her hair look nice, match an outfit, etc. Day after day of sweats, being out of shape, and not spending a little time to 'look nice' sends the message 'I don't care" to our children and others. Again - it's not about vanity. It's about making the effort.....

COKO L 10/26/2010 08:54:47

I believe that this artice was not meant to offend, but to lift us up. I believe some of us feel guilty by the way we have let ourselves go. I don't believe the article is telling you to look sexy. I believe it is about looking maintained. Yes we are Christians, but we live in a world that judges mostly on how we look and dress. If we remind our children that this is not what's important, but this is a skill that is needed to be learned when job hunting or other dealings when we step out the door. I don't know the exact location in the Bible where it says, "That we need to be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves"... Even though someone is great at basketball, if they want to play for the NBA, they have to wear the uniform.

LIZ C 10/26/2010 09:06:26

Liz C I do not believe that this was offensive at all. Taking care of the physical temple (the body) is very important to our emotional and spiritual life as well. As born-again believers, we are a triune being. We should be concerned about each aspect of our being. It doesn't mean we idolize our bodies but we should take care of them and present the best to our God, our husbands and our children. If we choose to be sloppy and un-kept, what kind of physical example are we displaying to our children. Over the years of mothering and now grandmothering, I have seen many moms who wanted more vitality, more joy in their lives and all it took was a little more time spent on themselves. As they got healthier and started caring for their appearance, they became better moms, happier wives and God is glorified!!!

Lindsay R 10/26/2010 09:15:57

I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ Himself is more concerned about the heart of a person rather than the outward appearance of His people. My husband and I have been in ministry for years. He actually pastors a church where the "misfits" of society are loved and accepted just the way that they are. The people that come to our church for the most part are very poor. They dress in what they can afford to wear and they are never looked down on or judged for their outward appearance. Think about the difference that the Body of Christ could make in this world if we weren't so focused on the way we look. We as Christians need to focus on wearing the "Heart of Christ", and not put so much emphasis on our appearance. Just think what we could give to a hurting society if we didn't spend so much time and money worrying about the way we are dressed or what the church building looks like. After all, Christ is not interested in stained glass buildings with tall steeples, but rather the true heart of HIS people. Remember, Jesus walked among the lowly. He wasn't worried about what He looked like. He was more concerned about loving others, healing them, and meeting them right where they were at. Although He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and sits on the throne.......He didn't have to dress like a king to be noticed or impact the lives of those around Him. Please think about this....

10/26/2010 09:41:37

Ths devotional needed more thought and editing before it was used.

MICHELLE B 10/26/2010 09:42:17

This was the first devotional that I've received. I was really disappointed as homeschooling mothers already have enough doubts and reasons to feel inadequate.

Kelly L 10/26/2010 09:56:59

WOW! It's funny how people only pick the happy, positive, "uplifting" messages from God to speak the them. Like it or not, this message is right. It wasn't sent to us to offend but to lift us up. I used to have a professor that challenged us to dress up for an exam for extra credit. He said that if you dress and prepare yourself for the best, you will do your best. He was so correct. No one in the entire class (that dressed up) needed the extra credit that day. The ones that didn't dress up, though, were the only ones to take offense to his challenge. It's awesome that God loves us just as we are but I don't want to be "just as I am", I want to be just like Him. So, fellow homeschool teachers/parents, don't take offense to this message...take it to heart. Besides, dressing up doesn't mean that we have to wear lipstick and heels, just change out of our pajamas. ;)

KIM F 10/26/2010 09:58:37

Shame on those who are offended. Lets not be so easily offended. This article has some merit. This message is intended for some and for all of us sometimes. We generally can be in pj's...but the message is good..My sister gets up at 5am, has her devo, showers and dresses..it sets her for ready and for those unexpected visits by others, for calls to go help without delay and to greet her husband in a groomed and glowing way. Homeschool moms can get a little lazy in the grooming department, agreed? When in actuality, we can teach our kids to be ready for the day, for God bringing others in and to not lose an opportunity to run out when called, because we have to take showers and brush our hair, we lose the opportunity. Kim F.

Anthony & Carrie T 10/26/2010 10:19:21

"She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong." Proverbs 31:17 "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:25-27 Our heart being right with God is what is most important in teaching our children...we always need to be pointing to the cross. I like to maintain a nice appearance, but I see nothing wrong with a family having a restful day in their pajamas. We need to not impose legalism on others. May everything we do be for His glory!

JULIE L 10/26/2010 10:49:23

This is the second article that Daily Focus has published on this subject. I am glad to be reminded of this. I have been a home child care provider for 25 years, a mother for 20 years, and have taught my youngest daughter at home for 3 years. I have always noticed a difference in how the children respond to me according to how I am dressed. When I am dressed in day clothes, such as jeans and a tee shirt, with my hair brushed the children respond in a more positive way. If I put on make up they respond even better. I think they get the idea that we are ready for action if we are up and dressed. When I stand in front of them in my pajamas and don't do anything with my hair, they think it is okay to react just as casually as I look. I am no expert, just experienced.

MICHELLE T 10/26/2010 10:55:21

I usually enjoy these devotionals, but today left me with an uneasy feeling. My kids are 2, 4, 6, and 8 (three boys and a girl). I can't tell you how many times my boys have told me that I look pretty when I have my ponytail and glasses (as opposed to contacts, hair fixed, makeup). They love the fact that I am home with them, spending time with them, and they like my at-home, comfortable look. Now, I do try to fix up some for my husband because he is a high school teacher and is around pretty young things all the time; however, this devotional didn't talk about fixing up for our husbands. It was referring to our children. My kids see me fixed up plenty when we go to church or out to eat or shopping, but I really think that they care not one bit if I do not fix up when we do school. And I can't see that they learn any differently when I'm fixed up versus when I'm not.

TIMOTHY V 10/26/2010 11:05:00

Wow! I have never seen such viscious comments as left about this devotion. They remind me of the comment that Judas Iscariot made when the woman broke the alabaster box of ointment, worth a year's wages, then annointed Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. He basically said that was a waste. I am so glad that she gave her best for Jesus, but most important, I am undone that Jesus would give His best for us all, who really don't deserve it. He gave His Life. Christians, we must give our best in all we do, especially in equipping our children for life. In a world where we want to be blessed for just getting by with who we are, Jesus wants to make us His best. "Give of your best to the Master..." Hmm! Good words for a song!

Christina P 10/26/2010 11:34:36

I do see both sides. It's only a sugesstion as the writers opinion, which we are all entitled to have. For some that suggestion may be just what they needed to hear about giving it 100% like you would (hopefully) out in the working world. For others, they may say that with the things they do, they prefer to be dressed for finger painting and walks in the woods. Some may teach better in that comfort of their jammies and the slower pace, and thus the kids may learn better. Whatever way you decide to go, ultimately it's about your heart, attitude and enthusiasm in teaching them, not your appearance... and the Lord will bless your efforts. You can disagree, but "taking offense" is where you may need to pray for the Holy Spirit to help you with those feelings.

Lori B 10/26/2010 11:48:28

I don't often comment on a blog (maybe never actually), but after reading this article and the responses I felt the need to. I have been on both sides of this...the at-home Mom schooling in her pj's with little ones snuggled beside...the professional who must ready herself for work and school early in the day. I may not be "finished" my homeschooling job (My Dad would say with a smirk "it never ends") but after nearly 19 years of marriage and 10 years of homeschooling I would like to share a few things I've learned: I enjoyed the more informal school days where clothes were more of an option until noon, but I now see in my 15 year old the mentality that if she isn't going somewhere in particlular what does it matter if she is still in her pj's at the lunch table. I regret that my casual attitlde created the mentality that you don't have to get dressed and ready for the day. It is important that we ready ourselves for whatever the Lord has planned for us. I don't think this means putting on heals and a skirt every day. But it does mean that we must get ourselves into the mindset and attire for whatever we are expected by the Lord to do. I am now trying to re-teach my 15 year old that if I'm not ready for the day by at least having a shower, getting dressed, maybe having my make-up done, I may miss opportunities in life. My older two children (11 and 15) remember the days that I wore those sloppy clothes, didn't do much with my hair, and never wore make-up. It turns out that they appreciate the fact that I do get properly dressed, do my hair and make-up and look ready for the day. I may only be wearing nice jeans (not designer-just clean and not with holes or wrinkles) a nice shirt (for me usually an inexpensive turtleneck with a sweater or suit jacket over) and my hair looking somewhat professional. I realized what I was teaching my children was that they didn't need to care about their appearance. I feel there is a difference between "worrying" over these things, and making them a part of our daily routine. When we are slugging through the trees or on the river bank fishing we dress accoringly, but when we are going through our regular day we dress differently. People ( whom I love and I know who love me unconditionally) have mentioned how I used to look...uncaring about my appearance...not undressed, just no make-up and no care given to my appearance...and mentioned that I looked depressed and not joyful in my Christian walk. In summary, I think there needs to be balance. Some days, maybe when the snow is falling and we are deep in the cold of winter, let's snuggle in our pj's in front of the fire with a hot tea, read the Word and enjoy the freedom we have to home-school however works best. But there needs to be the balance of being ready for what the Lord has instore for us each and every day! LB

SUSAN M 10/26/2010 12:05:59

For Victoria G. After having posted something earlier and thinking on various comments all day I just would like to tell you I'm sorry that you are ill. I think some of your remarks may have come from an overburdened feeling that your already may have had trying to deal with illness and continue to homeschool. I know a bit about that. I have a chronic illness and there are days when I feel so much like a failure that I read devotionals looking for a lift up rather than being told I need to dress better too. I, too, have responded with great vehemence when someone made statements about churches/homeschooler's ....being a pastor's wife I automatically threw in all the other stuff I had ever heard and I cleaned some clocks. Looking back I probably was reacting to something other than the particular article I had read ...it was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I ended up having to go bck and apologize. If you felt "enough already" I just wanted to say I'm sorry that life's circumstances are hard for you in the midst of your illness. I know, sometimes just getting out of bed is a victory because you chose another day to "not quit" but keeping going. I have prayed for you today. The Lord bless you with courage and strength to keep going each day.

SHARON C 10/26/2010 12:22:45

WOW! I took the time to read all of the responses before I wrote and what an interesting read it was. We are on a 'fall break' this week (we do a three-week-on-one-week-off rotation throughout the year) so I am still in my PJ's at 1:00 (I'm also a tad under the weather today). On days that we do school, I MOSTLY try to get dressed into jeans and a nicer-that-a-T-shirt shirt, and comb my hair, etc. But I am not doing it to please anyone, including God, so if it does not happen, there is NO need for me to feel guilty and 'strive to do better'. I am doing it because I feel can do what I need to do, with less distraction, if I take the time to do a little grooming first. The one thing that bothers me the most about this whole discussion though, is what we are basing our beliefs about 'looking good' on. There is an assumption that in order to look good one has to measure up, to one extent or another, to some externally imposed idea of what beauty is. As a Christian I choose to base my self worth on what GOD has provided for me (salvation) and anything I do to please Him (or anyone else) is out of gratitude for that gift. I do NOT have to do certain things, or look certain ways in order to ____. You fill in the blank - in order to feel good, impress others, educate my children 'better'. The ONLY thing I need to do as a Christian, is seek first HIS Kingdom. Some Christians are naturally neat people, and they ENJOY 'looking nice' - great. Other Christians value the idea of comfort and time spent in certain ways (other than laundry and in front of a mirror). The whole point is that NONE of us can sit in judgment of the other. We should ALL be seeking HIS Kingdom and not letting the value system of this world skew our idea of what beauty is to a point where we are more concerned with outward appearances than relationships (which is what God is ALL about). Personally, we take a more casual approach to life, our home is neat, we wear clean clothes, but comfort is also a value. Friends take a different approach and run a much tighter ship, and I have no problem with that, until they start to try to impose their values on me. That is the work of The Spirit, and if you feel Him moving you in that direction, by all means, follow Him. But, please understand that if I don't feel it, neither one of us is better than the other, just in different places. As long as we are putting our trust in the savior and Him alone, it's all good. You can 'present your best' and so can I and they can both look very different, and that's ok. Personally, I don't wear make up unless it's for church, or if my husband and I are going out. I'm a teacher by training, and even when I taught, I did not wear daily make-up. Someone once paid me a very high compliment when they told me they were having a conversation with their daughter about how to wear make-up in a natural-looking way, and they pointed me out to their daughter, and said, "see, she doesn't wear any make up and she looks beautiful." I DO wear makeup to church (the only place this family ever saw me) but I wear it in a way that it looks natural. I do not do it because I can't be beautiful without it. I do it because society expects it of me. It makes me sort of sad that society does, but that is the way it is. Same with dress. I typically dress in nice, well fitted jeans and a nice polo-style shirt or blouse. I was SHOCKED recently when I was dressed up more, for a funeral, and stepped into the grocery store. The difference in the way that I was treated because I was 'dressed up' was striking! How sad that our society puts so much weight on how a person looks in order for us to treat them with respect and value. I know it's true, and I know we need to teach our children to function within the existing system. But it does not mean I have to consciously decide to take part in the charade while I am inside my home. Some may want to, for one reason or another, but I don't. And I would appreciate it if others would not judge my ability to school my children well based on how I dress when I do it. Get to know me, watch me interact with my children, talk to them. THEN, if you have some feedback about what I could improve, I'll listen, but if you are basing your judgments solely on how I dress, I'm really not interested in what you have to say. THAT SAID - while I was typing this e-mail we went into a tornado warning. The neighbors called (also homeschoolers, with teen boys) to see if we were home, and they could come sit in our storm shelter with us. I had to run and put on jeans and a bra and change my shirt!!! lol!!! Perhaps The Spirit IS trying to teach me something - the question is, am I listening for Him or am I so busy listening to the 'opinions of this world' that I can't hear Him? If the Spirit is calling you to make a change, you better listen! But don't try to drag everyone else along with you, kicking and screaming. That is between Him and THEM. I understand that the author may have felt convicted to write this piece and that it will touch others in ways it does not touch me. Perhaps we should all be so willing to let it be a message for someone else, this once, and look forward to what the Spirit may have for us tomorrow!!

JENNIFER E 10/26/2010 12:57:49

I appreciated this devotional, both last year when I read it for the first itme, and today, when my family and I were blessed with the unplanned opportunity to provide a stranger shelter from a severe and sudden storm. Our homeschooling situation is a little different, since my husband and I are professionals in Fine Arts and both of us often work as arts education consultants. We often find ourselves multi-tasking; homeschooling in hotel rooms while working with a school system, or on tour with concerts or art exhibits. Certainly in our work we have found that dressing the part gives one an immediate level of credibilty. My job as a mother, and doubly so as a homeschool educator, is to train my children in the way they should go - both in their physical and their spiritual habits. We are physical and spiritual beings; we need to recognize our fallen nature in both areas and see to it that we strive for growth in both areas. Cleanliness, discpline and responsibility is essential in our physical and spiritual lives, and it is part of our job to educate by example in both those areas.

CONNIE J 10/26/2010 13:16:34

Well, my goodness, I can't believe some of the hostility in these comments. I think I understand where the author was coming from. Honoring God in all things, including the way we present ourselves..EVEN TO OUR FAMILIES! Sure, some days you're just going to be 'tore up', fighting allergies/colds, cramping, etc...but if your kids flinch when you come into their room, or you run and hide and have your oldest see who is ringing the doorbell (that would be me), it's time to tighten up a bit. No, I don't agree with preparing for a day of grubbing with your kids by getting a mani/pedi, that's not what she meant. Just some effort in your appearance if possible, make some effort for yourself and your kids, as they have to look you dead in the face all day. If you notice they're having trouble doing that, well.......

JUDY P 10/26/2010 13:49:50

Just a short comment, while not dressed to kill, I have learned after 13 years of homeschooling 8 children, IT PAYS to be fully dressed. Too many emergency calls, visitors, and unexpected happenings have fully convinced me as soon as I get out of bed to dress. Now for me that is a nice t-shirt, jeans, socks and tennis shoes, hair combed, teeth brushed. I have learned this lesson the hard way. But make-up, and dressy clothes are for special times. Don't let these comments bend you out of shape, but consider this: We are warriors. Prepare for Battle. P.S.--our PJ days are sick days around here.

MICKI W 10/26/2010 14:23:56

I was sooooo convicted by this! After reading this I looked at what I was wearing and my hair... if I dropped my kids off at school and the teacher looked like this it would be their last day at that school! Now I think that if you are going on an outdoor hike or doing a messy science experiment then yes, dress appropriately but the norm should be nice and neat. My husband also deserves to have a wife that is making an effort for him. I like what Judy S said in her comments. The children and I had a discussion at lunch time about this and I decide we would do an experiment. We are going to dress nice and neat and I will fix my hair and put a little lip gloss and mascara on and we will review how things went at the end of the week.

PRISCILLA H 10/26/2010 14:25:17

This message was a very good reminder that we should do all things to the glory of God. Since He has given me the wonderful priviledge to teach my kids at home, I should not treat it as if I'm on vacation day in and day out. This is my eleventh year to homeschool, and I see how over the years I have not only taught my children academics, but I have taught them how to live and dress whether it has been to God's glory or sadly not. I have teenagers who now wake up and don't care to get dressed themselves because I have had the same attitude. When I do stop to take a shower and get dressed my kids ask me where I am going. That's. not. good. Remember, we reap what we sew. What a great reminder of that.

KIM L 10/26/2010 15:04:44

I appreciate this article today. I never "blog." I am usually too busy, but after reading the "heated" responses today, I wanted to let the author know that I appreciate the message. I am a single, homeschooling mom and I enjoy the daily devotionals because they are a real encouagement to my heart. Since my husband left me a while back for his "soulmate," life has very hard. I could not afford to keep my daughter in a Christian school, and Public Education was not an option. I knew that somehow, someway the Lord would provide for us, but my daughter was going to have a Christian education. I prayed for quite a while - I quit my "job" (didn't make very much anyway) and I started homeschooling. I have to get up 5:30 a.m. if I want to have a good day. If I sleep in, I am behind for the rest of the day - not a good thing at all!. I let my daughter sleep until 8:00a.m. I have some private time with the Lord and I get a start on my own work for the day. But from the time I wake up my nine year old daughter until her 9:00p.m bedtime, she watches every move I make, listens to every conversation have and behaves just like me. If I show my frustration by getting angry, in just a short while I see her act the same way. Our children watch us, they learn from us and they teach us too. Some mornings when I do not think I have the time to get "dressed" and I just get out the books and start school, my daughter looks at me and says, "We need to get dressed." She is right. We need to get dressed. -I always try to look my best when I leave the house, but this morning I heard the Holy Spirit ask me "what about around the house?" -I want to be ready for what God has for me everyday. God graciously, miraculously meet our needs. I want to be open to what He has for me. I will take to authors encouagement to be the best I can be - for me, my daughter, but most of all for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

JESSICA T 10/26/2010 16:17:51

WOW...this devotional has sure generated the comments. I can certainly understand why this has created controversary and I don't know the author. However, I think that the heart of the devotional was just a reminder that homeschooling our children is, for most of us, our job...the job the Lord has called us to do for this time in the life of our children. As a mom, who sometimes gets discouraged, I was reminded that I need to take my job as a teacher seriously, just as I would want a public/private school teacher to take his/her job seriously. Does that mean, Victoria, that we have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to put in hot rollers? I don't think so, but I think that we that by our appearance, as Kim states, we are also teaching our children. This devotional has sparked lots of controversary as is evidenced by the number of comments. My question each time I read something that troubles me or I have a hard time with is this: "what is one positive thing that I can learn/take away from this lesson?" Than I try to keep that positive item at the forefront and not dwell on the other things that I had difficulty with.

ROSE H 10/26/2010 16:18:42

Some parents (gasp) are at work 8-5 while their kids are busy working hard on the home school program. What a luxury to sit home in your pajamas, although I am sure these parents have their hands full like the rest of us

Lisa Y 10/26/2010 17:50:22

LisaYwhy should I expect my child to be his best when I don't care about my best. We do all in the Glory of God.

LAURA C 10/26/2010 18:39:02

As a veteran homeschooling mom of over 20 years, dressing for school is important for teacher and students. I always wear full aprons which I sew out of colorful seasonal fabrics. My husband and kids appreciate this effort, and I am always ready for ANYTHING, including the unexpected knock on the front door! Why not look good for the people you love the most? My husband always says I look sweet and pretty, and the kids enjoy the birds and what-not on the aprons. Small effort with great blessings.

VALERIE S 10/26/2010 22:56:13

Our focus certainly is not upon dress but cleanliness and putting our best effort forward. This requires clean clothes that are conscientious well put together and hygiene that welcomes healthy conversations. However, very little time is put into this process. If this happens then we are ready to get down to business. I'm sure we all know the extremes, the children who are filthy and unkept because the homeschooling parent didn't take the time to care about this aspect of humanity. Really, it is the child I wish mine avoid. Likewise, I don't particularly encourage my children to spend time with pompus, children who like their parents who place more emphasis on the perfect hairstyle, boutique clothing and designer shoes. Both extremes scream imbalance. I'm so thankful that I have "real" days with my children in which being at home can be comfortable and casual. Likewise I enjoy helping them to dress up for special days or step-it-up a bit when we head out of the house to be with others. It is my hope that cleanliness for the sake of good health and healthy relationships is our focus. Enjoy the blessings God gives to you each day.

SUMMER H 10/27/2010 14:48:27

This article confirmed the convictions that the Lord had already placed on my heart. Recently the Lord made it clear to me that I needed to focus on modest dress. No more sleevleless or low cut blouses, short skirts or shorts above the knee, tight fitting pants and shirt, etc. Any type of clothing that might draw attention to the body parts meant for only my husband to see and that might cause others to stumble. I have three girls and a teenage boy and God finally came to help me realize how important it is to "cover up". In saying that, I agree that our apperance screams volumes about us. I will admit that when I am sick or feeling down, I hardly pay attention to my appearance. On the contrary, when I feel good and am happy I take the time to get dressed and fix my hair/make up, groom my nails, etc. I also do this during seasons when I feel particularly close to my husband. I believe that as homeschooling mothers, we should make the effort to be consistent with our appearance, just as we are consistent with disciplining the children, cooking, cleaning, etc. And being prepared for our day is always a wise choice. I notice that I tend to feel better about myself on the inside when I look my best on the outside. It's just like the other aspects of our selves. I take care of my spirit by feeding it God's word on a regular basis and staying in fellowship with God. I take care of my soul by being obedient to God and loving myself and others. I take care of my physical body by keeping it healthy with eating right, exercising and hygeine. I believe God's wisdom for this issue is that part of taking care of our physical bodies which is the temple of the Holy Spirit and my soul is to do our best to make our outside appearance reflect our inner spirit. Our spirits are regenerated by God and reflect His nature and His character. I think we should look our best not because the world says so or because the author of this devotional says so, but because the author of our faith says so. If we are called to be a reflection of Jesus in every part of our lives, why doesn't that include looking our best with our outward appearance? I think we can be comfortable and casual and look our best, looking your best doesn't necessarily mean heels and pantyhose and uncomfortable clothing. I can look my best and still be comfortable and casual and still have "real" days with my children. We all know when we're slacking and could do better in any area, including our appearance. I think we should all have an open mind on this issue and don't be so closed minded as to shut out the convictions the Lord puts on our hearts. I remember a time when I was on the defensive about "looking my best" at home as a homeschool mother. However absurd i thought the idea was then, the Lord has changed my entire perspective on the matter. He has a way of doing this for his children gently and lovingly and when we are ready for it. In saying that, wherever you are in your walk with God, don't feel guilty or condemned or get defensive because you don't agree with something someone says or writes about. Focus on the positive, discard the negative and trust that in time God will convict you of any decisions you need to make in the job He has given you when you're ready. God Bless you as you grow in the Lord daily.

Jody F 10/27/2010 19:45:26

I totally agreed with the devotional on "Dressed to Kill". I don't do anything different on a daily basis than a do on a Sunday morning when I go out to worship God. Sure I might be in blue jeans and a polo shirt, but my hair's always done and my make-up's always on (not that you have to wear make-up). This devotional was not offensive to me because my kids appreciate how I look and they always comment on it. I am teaching them that in whatsoever they do, do it as to the Lord. If the internet guy has to come over to fix our internet (which has happened quite often), i don't want him to see us disheveled and unorganized because that's just where bad attitudes about homeschoolers comes from - from people who stay in ther pjs half the day and then try to say that they're preparing their children for the work force. I try to make our day go like they have a schedule, which they do. If you were offended by this devotional, maybe you ought to take a second look about how you homeschool. Jody F

MICKI W 10/28/2010 07:48:55

Our kids will not get jobs showing up to there interviews in their pajamas. This was far from being a personal attack on loosening schedules and standards in the home. However as home-schoolers isn't one of our biggest complaints about the public school system is that it is disorderly, not conducive to learning and suffers from a lack of discipline. Good traditional educations of yesteryear created atmospheres where children could flourish because there were not the distractions of baggy clothing, loose morals, noise and disrespect. No where in this article is it suggested that little boys need to wear shirts and ties and moms and daughters need to be in skirts and heels. God is a God of order and we are his representatives on earth to a world that desperately needs to see a difference in us. God does look on the inside and judges intent. We homeschool for our kids first, for sure but next we must realize that we will be sending them out as lights in the darkness. It is not just about our own comfort and schedules. Why not ask God to help us see any blind spots that we might have. We should constantly be in a state of willing submission to Gods refinement. Casual and tasteful does notmean ball gowns and three piece suits.

DANIELLE F 10/28/2010 10:50:21

after reading this i will not be purchasing SOS and Life pac again next year. or any AOP curriculum for that matter. this was absolute trash and anyone who talked against it got a negative rating. gee i wonder who is controlling how the ratings come through. also unfriending on FB. this was VERY DISTURBING and judgmental

JANET T 10/28/2010 11:33:54

Thank you all for your posts. Perhaps a few additional comments will help everyone better understand my heart and the intent of this devotional. As a young homeschool mom with four children, I struggled like all of you to find time for myself. Urgent needs and daily interruptions forced me to multi-task in many areas, and the least of my concerns was my appearance. Unfortunately, not caring how I looked became a precedent in my life rather than just the occassional morning that "got away from me." But then one day I looked in the mirror and thought about how my children must feel when they looked at me. Yes, I knew my love for them and their love for me wasn't based on such a superficial thing, but I was trying to teach them that God wants our best in all things. How could I ask their best in their school work and not give my best in how I taught? Under God's conviction, I knew I needed to do a better job and make a change. Living on a limited income, I didn't have the money to buy fashionable clothes. My best was to discipline myself to be clean and neat with what I had so I could project a positive attitude throughout the day with my family. Homeschooling is hard enough without others heaping burning coals on our heads. My desire was never to hurt, but to encourage you to find renewed strength in something that helped me homeschool more successfully. May God continue to bless and lead you all as you give your best to Him and your family. In His love, Janet

MICKI W 10/28/2010 17:46:24

I am concerned not that people express themselves negatively but rather how. For those that felt that this was "absolute trash" and the writer/editors/producers should be unfriended and are controlling and judgemental is more than a little off from a Christian response. If it is truly wrong and those that recognize its incorrectness are the spiritually mature...then where is love, prayer guidance, forgiveness, etc?

DIANE W 10/28/2010 17:56:49

The inside attitude of these people sure came out and that should serve to let the author of this article know she was right on target!! Good job!

Bonnie k 11/02/2010 16:21:43

I read the Dress to Kill ! and i agree, unfortunately alot of home school parents disagreed. I was also a work at home mom, and found it more fit to get up, get dressed and be presentable even though I was working in my own home. This only made since, as I would receive deliveries, and had to answer my door, or make a run out to pick up supplies etc. I didn't want to look like a just crawled out of bed, it made a statement of me and my business. I didn't need to put on my business suit, or be fancy, I just needed to be presentable to the public that I would sell to. I ve read scriptures you have put down to defend your case, however, when it says, "not to be caring of what you wear, it doesn't mean to stay in your pj's, or put on an expensive garmet, it does mean to be clean, neat etc. I now homeschool, the chld is up at regular times, and she also needs to be ready for the day, since we work our own hours and breaks, she also need to be ready to run out and look decent. As a Christian, we need to make our selves presentable at all times, defend the cross, present yourself that people see Christ in you, make your appearance be that of a Christian and not of just a person, we should and need to stand out amongst our peers and the unsaved. And those you that call this trash, remember this is the word of God that you are calling trash, how could you, or maybe you aren't christian, just use the programs.

TINA M 10/26/2011 03:51:02

Honestly, I was encouraged when I read this. I feel better about myself when I get dressed and do my make up before I homeschool my kids. It also sets a good example to them as well to dress for success. I am trying to leave an inheratence for my children. One of those things I am leaving them is how to put God first even in the little things like getting dressed, brushing your teeth, taking a shower. My kids will never be successful if I dont model it to them first. After all God entrusted me with my kids not the other way around.

TINA M 10/26/2011 04:01:07

To Janet T. thank you for this and all devotions. It encouraged me very much to not give in to the temptation to just wing it in my homeschooling. You are doing an awesome job and I appreciate the encouragement more than you know. My prayers go up for you, for strength and courage in the face of negativity and judgement, and assurance you are doing the right thing. Continue to be blessed, Tina M.

SARA J 10/26/2011 04:22:42

Lately I had already been thinking that I ought to work on this. Yes, we enjoy the freedom of doing school in our "jammies," and that's fun, but if I'm making a habit of slopping through the day without taking care of myself, that's a bad example. I certainly don't want to teach my pre-teen daughter to be a slob! I've already seen some of those bad habits forming just because we are in the habit of getting up and "winging it" most mornings. Then I'm irritated at her lack of good habits! Who's to blame? ME! Plus, do I want my boys to marry a slob since that's what they are used to seeing? I don't think the author's point was for us to primp or put too much importance on outward appearance, but to remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Aren't we equipped better for whatever God sends our way when we get up and get a good start to our day, first with Bible reading then with basic grooming and getting dressed? Thanks to the author for putting into words what's already been lurking in the back of my mind and heart.

Patricia D 10/26/2011 04:52:23

I am new to these devotionals this year and, quite frankly, I was a bit shocked to see the hailstorm of negative comments. This is an important devotional. Somehow dressing appropriately is not a subject Christians want to tackle or they're greatly offended when brought up for discussion. I think dress is an indication of what is going on in the heart. My children and I feel better prepared for the day when we're up, dressed, and eat a good breakfast. Someday they're going to have to go out into the world and get a job. I am married to an owner of a business and dress is important when interviewing for a job. It's a part of presenting yourself to others (as well as to our Lord Jesus Christ) and also speaks volumes about what you think of yourself.

ALYSON C 10/26/2011 04:53:44

Usually when I feel offended by a post on here, it means I am actually feeling convicted and am rejecting it. I too was a bit shocked and taken aback when I first read this. But that just made me take a step back, think and open my heart to what God had to say. It is easy to take this too personally and I think that is dangerous. It is impossible for this woman to write something that applies to every member every single day. It seems there are people out there that needed to hear this for themselves. It does not mean that it applies to you. When I read these they don't always apply to me, and that's ok. But like I said, if I am feeling badly about it I get rid of the negative feeling and let Gods positive input come in.

CYNTHIA S 10/26/2011 04:58:09

Studies have been show that a caller can tell a difference if the sales person or person in an interview on the phone is dressed even to shoes and if they are smiling when they talk. (http://moneywatch.bnet.com/career-advice/blog/on-job/ace-your-phone-interview-21-quick-simple-tips/785/, http://www.howtodothings.com/careers/a2176-how-to-prepare-for-phone-interviews.html) If such a difference is obvious on the phone, I'm sure it is obvious to our children. Thank you for the reminder to approach each part of my day as for the Lord.

LEE D 10/26/2011 05:17:05

thank you for this article, God is simply saying we need to look after ourself as well as our children.. As a homeschooling mum i often stay in my pjs till 11am in the morning, why because i dont have time to have a shower or do my things. Sometimes mums forget about themselves our days are busy, and sometimes very demanding, even so dads as well. Why not treat yourself to a day of pampering?

LAURI P 10/26/2011 05:25:36

Michelle T hit the nail on the head! Our kids care far more about our inner beauty than our outer... and a beautiful mom is a patient mom, who endures whatever comes with good temper. When our focus is on the external, we miss the point. No amount of make-up or hairspray can make up for an irritable, harsh spirit. A smile and a soft answer are the most attractive things we can put on. I think some of the negativity here comes from people who already have a lot on their plate, and this devotional just stated that there is something else they need to add or they are not adequate.

LEE D 10/26/2011 05:34:29

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)

JULIE G 10/26/2011 05:35:07

This was wonderful and so needed. Bless you.

JACQUELINE W 10/26/2011 05:37:41

I took no offense to this great article. Some days are easier than others and some days your best is less than others. When I first started home schooling I would get up, shower and all like I did when I worked full time, but I didn't have a slue of clothes as my previous job required a uniform all the time. I had church clothes and work clothes, pretty boring wardrobe. And since we don't allow shoes worn in our home, heels are out of the question. Some days sweats were it, but I made the effort to get up, clean up and get dressed. That makes a big difference. Now several years later my uniform is not much different. I own 1 pair of jeans that fit well, 2 that fit ok, a few pair each of capris and sweats so on days I have to go to town I wear jeans, on days we don't leave the house or the yard it's sweats. It's not what I'm wearing but the effort I put to my children and my hubby. My husband notices too when I make the effort to get moving in the morning rather than just plop down and start my day. I don't compete with the women he works with, I compete with me. I don't get up before him, I'm not dressed when he leaves the house, but when I have lunch with him occasionally or when he gets home I'm dressed, the house in neat and I'm focused to give him attention. For my children, it's the same. I make the effort so I can focus on them, not my bathrobe falling open, not my legs getting cold in winter, not the mess in the house, but on them and what they are learning that day. Shame on all of you who criticize this wonderful writer who takes the time to inspire us. My best, her best, and your best is different. And each persons best each day can be different. The Bible has many places we are told to do our best, dress our best, act our best. Look it up and see if in your heart you know you are giving your best on this particular day!

JAMA A 10/26/2011 06:00:23

Expressing our opinions is a wonderful gift in this country, but these comments, for the most part, are angry and viscous. You don't have to agree with it, but such negative comments are certainly not the way Jesus would have expressed His opinion. Can we just be a little nicer! Also, it kind of hit home for me. I looked in the mirror around lunch time yesterday and was scared! I had not brushed my hair or my teeth! I don't think I will start putting on panty hose as the result of this devotional, but a pair of sweats and a run through my hair with a brush are in order for today! As a matter of fact, my daughter told me a few days ago that she wanted me to tart getting my nails done again because it would make me feel prettier. Out of the mouth of babes!

JULIE B 10/26/2011 06:24:36

Here is a link that might help and encourage others. It is a wonderful website that I love and it explains exactly what the author is trying to say, concerning the discipline of our selves as mothers, wives, and women, in general. ENJOY! www.flylady.net

KRISTIE C 10/26/2011 06:42:42

I think most of the people who are offended by this devotion feel this way because they are convicted that it's true! Most hmsch. moms I know look slouchy and unkemp...no wonder homeschooling has a bad rap out in the world! These comments are very un-Christian like and I'm appalled by the way this very helpful article has been blasted.

ROBIN B 10/26/2011 07:10:27

I'm not sure about all homeschooling moms but I love causing people to rethink their preconceived notions about how a homeschooling mom looks or doesn't look. Now that my children are older and do not need to be carried anymore, I've actually started to enjoy wearing heels to church and MOPS. A fellow homeschooling friend actually commented "Way to represent us homeschoolers in your heels!" I've started wearing casual dresses, then I won't have to spend time matching a top and a bottom! The sweater dress I have on now is as warm, soft and comfortable as my sweats plus it doesn't draw attention to the areas of my body that show my lack of exercise (and love of cooking ;). This summer I got 12 inches of my hair cut off to donate and I am truly loving the unexpected bonus of super quick showers and blow drying. All of us are beautiful in the eyes of the King, it just took me 36 years to really believe I was included. We moms love to have fun learning with our kids, yet it's fun to learn how to find balance and be radiant as well. Homeschooling has been the best decision my family has ever made and it keeps getting better!

DESIRAE B 10/26/2011 07:13:48

I too am surprised at the defensive reaction that has been posted (as if the purpose of this devotion was to attack them?)...and the blatant disrespect to the writer. I think we can all agree that our heart condition is the real issue and our outward appearance is not something to dwell on...but also agree with the idea that what you see on the outside can be a reflection of your true heart condition on the inside? Can this not just be a positive message on a practical way to show how important homeschooling is to us?

SHERI T 10/26/2011 07:21:43

WOW, I am laughing as I sit in my pajamas reading this. haha Thank you for the reminder! I do find it funny how so many people are on the defensive here. Maybe feeling a bit guilty?!? Would you attack someone to their face for having a differnce in opinion? And are those of you who are so angry teaching your children that is how to work out their problems/differences! It is easy to sit behind that keyboard and fling hurtful words!!

DEANNA W 10/26/2011 07:59:36

All I can say is "to each his own", we as a homeschool family feel that when we are home "softies" are okay. However, when we leave the house to go to classes or other things, we make sure that we make a good effort to present ourselves to the world as a Christian family by the way we act, speak and dress. God doesn't care what we look like on the outside, he cares about what is in our hearts.

JESSICA W 10/26/2011 08:00:32

I REALLY SMILED READING THIS. I THINK IF YOU ARE OFFENDED, THERE IS SOMETHING OFF WITH YOU. THESE MESSAGES AREN'T POINTING "YOU" OUT. THEY ARE WHAT GOD HAS LAID ON THE HEART OF THE WRITER. WE SHOULDN'T BE OFFENDED AT THAT. SOME THINGS ARE ALSO FOR YOU TO DECIDE WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU AND IF YOU DON'T AGREE, WELL THEN SIMPLY DON'T AGREE. WE SHOULD GO INTO SCHOOLING DRESSED! I AM GUILTY, BUT THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT SOME DAYS YOU CAN'T JUST RELAX. THE LORD HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TUGGING AT MY HEART TO PUT MORE EFFORT INTO MY DAILY BEGINNING, SO THIS JUST CONFIRMS WHAT HE WANTS FROM ME. I HAVE FELT A LITTLE ASHAMED AT WAITING UNTIL LATER TO GET DRESSED, BECAUSE SO MANY ARE LOOKING TO FIND SOMETHING WRONG WITH HOMESCHOOLING, WHAT IF THEY WERE TO STOP BY UNEXPECTEDLY? THINK ON THAT A BIT. DON'T BE MAD!

KELLY F 10/26/2011 08:34:39

My girls and I enjoy doing school in our pjs! I take no offense to what the writer is saying here. Different things work for different people. My children don't learn any differently if I am in my pjs or in a suit. They know that no matter what the clothes don't make the man or woman. So even if I don't look professional, they know that my character is. That is what matters most to us.

REYNA R 10/26/2011 08:44:57

I have read several devotions that our to "lift homeschoolers up," I find more often than not I feel unworthy and not doing enough as a homeschool teacher. I as a christian am able to decern conviction which is of God and touches you gently and makes you aware of changes you need to make in your life for your and your families best interest. This is a person that obviously was brow beaten. On more than one occasion the writer has talked about feeling as though she was letting her kids and husband down because the laundry was piling up and she would go to bed feeling guilty, and she wasn't able to vacuum. Well, I think devotions should be for up lifting someone up not making the person reading it to feel ashamed of themself. If I want feel bad about being a homeschool teacher I just need to go to the library in the middle of the day! I think it's time for me to unsubcribe to this "uplifting" website. Also I can recall her saying once she over slept and her two youngest children were laying in bed with a book waiting for her to wake up and as a she put it they started their homeschool day reading in bed for 30 minutes. I don't know how she does it but I can't sleep in high heels. Another thing, I do iron my clothes and my kids clothes the night before and I even prepare our snacks the night before. I don't say this to boast but I wear ironed sweat pants thank you very much.

ROBIN R 10/26/2011 09:03:00

Good morning homeshool parents, I say parents because as one person said it there are some dads that do the schooling as well. Now as for the subject matter of this mornings devotional. Not that I find this one "Trash" as some of you have called it or inappropriate or offensive I do find it a bit discouraging. I for one do not wear make-up mainly because my husband has said that I am beautiful without it. I wore it before we were married but not now. Besides it cost too much and living on one income that is already small I don't buy it. I never worked an 8-5 job. I worked in restaurant and daycare. Nether one requires it. My children are glad just to not have to get up before the sun like they did when they were in public school. I know many moms who do exactly as has been mentioned. They get up,dress nice,and look like a teacher. I also know the ones who choose to be comfortable. Do I believe they are dishonoring God or a discouragement to their families no. I think that they are doing what works for them. I choose appropriate dress for the days schedule as well as the weather. So if it means sweats and a t shirt then thats what I wear. To say that we should be all dolled up is impractical. I don't know about you but school is not my only job. As a mother with a full time job(my home)I don't have the luxury of buying new clothes when the other ones get bleach stains from tub cleaners or other type chemical cleaners. Now that being said, I do make sure that I take the time to wash my face, brush my hair, and maybe change my shirt if its a little messy a few mins before my husband gets home. So he is still being honored in that way.

SUSAN T 10/26/2011 09:22:15

Wow...what controversy...I think you hit a nerve!! Ladies...most of the homeschoolers I would venture to say are women and whether women or men...I speak from my own experience...I don't feel as good about myself when I feel frumpy (sweats or jammies all day)...which is how I was feeling when I started homeschooling and started some of those bad habits. Before homeschooling...I did work outside the home and had to dress up each day for work..way more so than I imagine the author of this devotion was implicating. I don't think she was implying dresses, nylons, heels and full makeup. I will tell you that it has been proven that children (and I would also venture to guess..adults too) perform better/learn better when they are dressed up (and I mean with clean/neat clothes and that can include comfortable..with choices from all types of styles for all types of bodies out there....:) If you want some other scripture reference...how about Proverbs 31 itself...vs. 21-22 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed: SHE IS CLOTHED IN FINE LINEN AND PURPLE. (Purple was for royalty...) I believe the author was trying to remind you that you should look your best and that a woman of Noble Character will do her best to look her best for the occasion...jammies are for sleeping and sweats are for exercising...clean jeans or other comfortable pants and a nice clean unwrinkled shirt...a clean fresh face and hair combed at the least is all the author of this devotional was talking about...A fun pajama day once in a while is great...but just like eating good wholesome food makes the body feel better..so does a clean, well groomed body....try it and see if it makes a difference...I'll bet it does")

Jody F 10/26/2011 09:46:49

I have been home schooling for 12 years now and have NEVER done so in my pajamas. If my children have on their pj's, they are too sick to do school. Honestly, people, this was a great devotional. Take it to heart, others are always watching us (even the UPS man knocking at our door) and making opinions based on what they think they see. We dress in a way appropriate to go to the dentist or grocery store ALWAYS. I am getting my children ready for the outside world someday not a pajama party. They make their beds, get dressed and usually we are at the books by 8 a.m. Wow, what a concept!

LISA H 10/26/2011 10:31:21

At first this article was a bit offensive. But, after re-reading it, it's more that it 'struck a chord' for me. As many of the comments above state - getting 'cleaned up' for the day is a different 'picture' for each home school parent. We live in a place where it rains daily (all day!) so, naturally we dress for our weather. Our home is so relaxed that our youth group prefers to 'hang out' at our house because they know they are safe and comfortable here. With that said, I was a bit convicted that maybe I've become a little too relaxed - not getting dressed until 11am, starting school at 2pm, etc. My schedule has been a little 'off'. Last week a fellow home school Mom dropped by at noon - I was still in my PJ's! How embarrassing! So, the point is, don't get so relaxed that everything is let go - your appearance, your home, your schedule, etc. We DO want to put our best foot forward in all things as if we are doing it all for the Lord - home schooling is no different. I enjoyed reading everyone's opinions. (Home school Mom of 20yrs and four wonderful students)

LAURA B 10/26/2011 10:57:47

I don't know if a soul will read this, but I wanted to comment anyway. I immediately wanted to respond by saying, I try to do my best with everything...but somedays I have to FORCE myself to eat breakfast between diapers, getting everybody dressed, feeding them, and getting their schoolwork started....I'm lucky if my hair gets brushed!! Ironed clothes? HAHA HA HAA!!!!!! I don't mean that in a bad way...I'm not offended by this devotional....I know what it is trying to say, put your best foot forward, essentially. I just had to laugh!

SONYA S 10/26/2011 13:47:22

I am thoroughly shocked at the author. I have referred many moms to this blog previously as the author seemed spirit-filled. I am embarrassed to have ever recommended it now. This felt more an attack from Satan by flippant and opinionated remarks about our outward appearance. Personally, my best foot forward comes from starting my day in prayer and the word, not ironing my clothes. So sad to hear of a child asking their parent to be dressed up, and then that a \"parent\" obliges. Mixed up priorities. This isn\'t supposed to be any blog, it is a Christian devotional. Not someones sad personal opinions like someone else condoned. We shouldn\'t write something just to get it done.

BRENNA H 10/26/2011 15:08:20

I just wanted to say that I wrote a comment last time I read this article and I still feel the same way about the devotional. I am not upset either way. Some days I dress up, others I do not. I was a little surprised though by the fact that the original comment mentioned that the meaning of the devotion was that God does care for all our needs. I needed to pray and let the need go. I was amazed to see that right now our family is going through the worst issue of our life and I need to just pray and believe. I need to let God have the problem and leave it there. Thank you for the gentle reminder today that God is control and He sees our every need. I will give my girls the best I can with God in control of our problem and our school. We serve an Awesome God, Praise to our King. Peace and prayers, Brenna

ABBIE S 10/26/2011 16:43:48

Thank you. The daily devotions have been such a help for me. We have been having to go through some really trying times in our lives and are fairly new to homeschooling as are some of my friends. The lessons have often come in the nick of time to give me the boost of encouragement I have needed. I am encouraged to fight the good fight, do my best for God and my family and stop beating myself up about everything. We all have to pick our battles and do what works for our family. There have been many days I have homeschooled in pj\'s. I\'m not ashamed of it, it can be a lifesaver at times, but I\'m not proud of it either. I can deffinately say that the days I start off more together I do feel better about myself and the kids and I do perform better on average, I just havent thought much about it in our crazy life lately. Homeschooling is a very personal topic and lifestyle. Most of us wont be able to achieve the ideal homeschool on any given day, and what I am wearing is not that important, but I want to strive to do my best and show my kids that. It is gona be hard, but I want to start geting up a little earlier so I can have a decent morning devotion and get dressed,etc before we start school.

MRS. LAURIE W 10/26/2011 17:57:18

What does God say about our appearance? He says modest, how many in the mainstream are these days and if they claim to be it\'s usually what they decide modesty is in their own culture instead of how God defines it. Did the man teaching Jesus iron his clothes? No, but he was modest. If we are not modest we are not obeying Christ and then the love of God is not in us. Wife obey your husband as unto the Lord; look good how he defines looking good to him. He is going out all day looking at only God knows who and she\'s gonna probably make sure she\'s a whole lot better looking than me and you and she\'s probably already forgotten more about a man than you sweet old mama ever taught you. ;) Innocent as doves, sharp as serpents. Wake up woman; men are wired to look and there are more out today trying to make them look than at any other time in creation. Watch out.

ANGELA T 10/26/2011 18:16:14

My son does his best work in a dress shirt and tie at the kitchen table. He is 6 and dresses himself. On days when he chooses to wear sweats, he is a major goof-off. Dress for success is proven. If I shower, put on a pair of jeans, a cute T-shirt, a little make-up and a pony-tail, I feel sharper and more ready to tackle homeschooling and my three young children. It\'s a self-esteem boost.

MELISSA A 10/26/2011 19:27:38

I begin my day with an hour of barn chores before my children and husband are even awake. We all leave together by 8 and spend the day at our furniture store, where we work until 5 and homeschool our children in the offince. I dont spend more then 20 min getting ready for work, but i always look nice. Even on weekends i still take pride in looking presentable and neat and clean. ( i save my pony tails and ripped jeans for the barn ) I totally got your article, sorry about those who did not. :)

EVIE L 10/26/2011 21:09:48

ok, so I wasn\'t thrilled with this one either. I try to make myself look nice for my husband, but I don\'t even put on makeup for him, if we are just at home. The fact that I have 6 children, 5 of whom are between the ages of 1 and 6, makes it impossible to get a shower every morning, much less iron my clothes. I think it\'s important to not be slovenly, but wearing lounge clothes once in awhile...fun memories. I don\'t think I need to dress like I have a job out side of the home. I don\'t have that job, so why pretend and dress like I do. I think there are many things MUCH more important to discuss than how we dress for our children. Now, If this was a post on dressing MODESTLY, that is something else entirely. However, that being said, I think what I can take from this is that we need to set an example of not being lazy, and staying in our pj\'s all day everyday, or letting ourselves go. You know, we homeschool, we don\'t have to care about hygiene....that sort of thing. But to say my clothes have to be ironed? I don\'t think so!!! And because we aren\'t pressed and dressed, we are \"fit to kill?\" I wasn\'t thrilled about that line. (although I have felt that way a time or two! LOL)

URSULA O 10/26/2011 21:59:24

After reading all of the negative comments that were made regarding todays devotion, I am very disappointed in the so called \"Christ Like\" manner in which many responded. We don\'t always agree with each other, but the cutting down was rude. This was only her opinion as to what works for her. It is not written in stone. This is one of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that we can do whatever works for us.

ANN MARIE S 10/27/2011 04:29:51

I have homeschooled for 18 years now and I can honestly say that in the last couple of years I have been practicing this concept. It has made a very real change in my approach to the day and my children. I have shopped thrift stores for items that make me feel smart (but not too disappointed if damaged in daily life). In addition, I have felt better about having someone come to the door when I feel more presentable.

SUSAN Z 10/27/2011 06:49:28

I honestly have found more of these devotions be discouraging and condemning in their tone than encouraging. (I am not saying that is the intent of any of the authors.) I think before anyone starts throwing around the word \"un Christ-like\" in comments, you should consider those who may have suffered spiritual injury in systems that may be filled with authoritarianism, condemnation and legalism. Calling someone \"un Christ-like\" is many times just another blanket statement to shut people down and make them feel guilty for an honest emotion, opinion or thought they may have. I have been following Christ for over 20 years and in the last two years my eyes have been opened to more than I could ever imagine -- mostly Christ\'s heart toward us VS man\'s interpretations and opinions! I highly recommend 2 websites to visit if you are interested...... recoveringgrace.org and quiveringdaughters.com. You may not realize how much you have been either directly or indirectly impacted by man\'s interpretation. Research! Ask questions -- ask the HARD questions. Don\'t just take man\'s word for it. Be sure you know what God and God ALONE has to say on the issue. We need to WAKE UP and take a look at our faith and the systems we may have been following as opposed to the HEART of Christ!

STACY J 10/27/2011 07:33:41

Article was good. I agree with this and at least one of the mothers up there. Its good for you to get up and get dressed and make sure you work out and stay in excellent physical shape. Not only for you to keep you from getting lazy or over weight, but to keep your spouse happy too. All this non sense people are saying about \"it doesn\'t matter to God what i am wearing, its on the inside that counts\" well your outside represents whats on your inside and being lazy and overweight IS a sin people.

EVIE L 10/27/2011 15:28:54

Stacy, be very careful! I am *overweight* but by no means lazy! I have had 5 kids in 4.5 years. I raise a 3/4 acre garden, can and process all our vegetables and fruit, live on a 66 acre farm, and raise and butcher our own meat. What I wear, and the fact that I don\'t work out every day, nor am I in *excellent physical shape* has no bearing on my spiritual walk. And also, being overweight is NOT always a sin. Be very careful how you judge people. your *inside* is showing. And homeschooling 4 of my 6 kids, with everything else that I do, with 2 toddlers running amuck......no time for getting in *excellent physical shape*. I have to say, yours was the most offense post here.

CARRIE P 10/28/2011 01:56:30

I chose to be encouraged to prepare for my day & to in turn encourage my 6 kidz to be ready to learn. I do think that the title \"Dressed to Kill\" may be a bit off-putting. Maybe *\"Dressed for Success?\"* I do try to dress for each task, but we do purposely have PJ times in our schooling, just to keep things fun ;~D Some days I even put on make-up & the kids ask where I\'m planning to go? LOL May your school day be fresh, encouraging, & an awesome time of growth for you & your kids- Just as the authors & editors Pray each devotion is to each reader here! Thanks bunches. I don\'t always have to agree, but I do always appreciate the heart for homeschoolers & families that I find in my e-mails from you! Blessings!!!

TANYA P 10/28/2011 09:07:31

This was absolutely perfect for our family! I\'m always asking my kids to put on something nicer. They don\'t have to dress to impress, but I do want them to put on a clean, matching outfit and comb their hair. I would expect them to do that for public school, why would I lower my standards for homeschool? Thank you for all of your inspiring devotions! I look forward to each one.

JESSIE P 10/30/2011 15:16:33

This is my first time commenting. I\'m not sure exactly how I feel about this article. At first I laughed and thought, \" Are you serious?\" I have been home educating my children for eleven years. We have good days and bad. However, one of the perks to being homeschooled, is that you don\'t have to spend so much extra time rushing around, and worrying about what you wear. My kids think it\'s cool that they don\'t have to get dressed right away and can begin the day in their PJ\'s. I will admit that after reading some comments and thinking about the article more, that I see both positive and negative. Should I spend extra time and effort to get all \"dressed to kill\"? Absolutely not. I am a teacher and a sports coach along with all the other things we moms do. And what ever is wrong with a ponytail? I have long hair, it gets hot with no have no AC, and my hair gets in my way. On the other hand, should I stay in my pajamas all day? Absolutely not. I can take away from this article what ever I choose based on my attitude. I can be offended, or encouraged. It\'s up to me though. I don\'t see any wrong in voicing you opinion on the matter either, but some were done in a rather hostile manner. I\'m thinking there may have been some conviction there. We do not usually respond to conviction in a joyful way. But we should try to harness our tongue ( or typing fingers in this case) and speak with grace. I do find that being dressed to kill can be a distraction. My kids see the importance of dressing for the occasion. If I\'m too fancy for homeschool, they let me know. I\'m glad that they see the importance of dress and the role it plays in our lives. Look at how dress has affected schools. Have you ever wondered why schools switch to uniforms? It\'s to remove distractions, make getting ready for school easier, and minimize the effects of the latest fashion trend. After all, we are here to learn and receive the best education possible.

BRENNA H 11/01/2011 09:11:56

Dear Stacy J, I agree that being healthy is important. My husband love me no matter what. I am in better physical and mental health now than i was when i was a marathon runner and 110 pounds. I also know I could work out more, but what I have gained in weight i have also gain in better self-esteem and spiritual growth. Before it was all about me and my body and how great i looked and great physical gains. I am now a happy wife with two great kids and a husband who enjoys what ever weight I am. Sin is something we all are guilty of whether we show it on our body or in our hearts. Peace and prayers, Brenna We serve an Awesome God

DANIELLE R 01/19/2012 11:07:12

I think this passage could be easily read in two different ways. First is to think you have to \"Look\" good before starting school. Second - is to read between the lines and just realize that taking care of what God gave us is the main key. That being said - I am someone who was raised in a faith where I was told that at a certain point - I had to go to church dress up in my best clothes. HOWEVER - I also knew in my heart that God will accept the homeless off the streets into his home. God wants us to take care of what we have been given - the best way we can. If that means running a brush through my hair and putting it in a pony tail every morning - so be it. In our home, we get dressed and \"clean\" up, just so we are ready to dive into the day. Get it out of the way, and the rest of the day we can focus on the lord, school, chores, etc... REMEMBER - when you are reading these devotionals daily - take a step back - look at the story being told by the reader - if you can relate to them GREAT ! If not, be understanding that the entry is just an opinion by that writer. Take what you need, and leave the rest for someone else that can use it. !! Be open minded ! If you aren\'t then life\'s opportunities will pass you by !

KIMBERLY S 10/26/2012 04:34:30

Awesome article! I\'m training my children for a higher education and I enjoyed the refreshing article that confirmed how we operate in our home. 1st Corinthians 14:40. Let all things be done decently and in order.

TONYA S 10/26/2012 04:40:40

Let\'s all appreciate the fact God has given each of us a mind in which we can have our own opinions. I do not agree with my pastor 100% of time, but I respect him. This is not a doctrinal issue - so let\'s not sweat the small stuff. We can disagree without being harsh. Remember what these devotionals are about, to encourage one another in our walk with God, while we are homeschooling.

SHAWNE B 10/26/2012 04:47:32

Just wanted to say that I appreciated this devotional and it spoke to me today. It\'s an area that I struggle with and I need the reminder. Col 3:23

JENNY W 10/26/2012 04:49:35

I thought this was a great post. I did not take offense at all. I think it is important to be dressed and care what we look like when we teach our children. I am appalled at all the negative posts. If these people are Christians, they should be ashamed of themselves. Jenny G

OLUREMI F 10/26/2012 05:05:57

I not only get dressed every morning before I start homeschooling, I encourage my three children to do the same, down to their shoes. I believe I need to teach them the value of taking care of themselves properly and I need to be a good role model. I was blessed and encouraged when I read theat article.

S T 10/26/2012 05:07:10

Thank you for posting this devotional! For those of you who are offended - you should be ashamed of your remarks - that is not what this is about. If we are having a rough start to our day I will tell us all to go change our appearance - mine included and come back with a changed attitude - it works! Appearance and attitude go hand in hand :) Thanks again for these gentle reminders!!

Bonnie M 10/26/2012 05:12:05

Running homeschool is like operating a small business in so many ways. Healthy practices that include appearance preparation help ensure productivity and respect. That doesn\'t mean that love has gone out the door. I don\'t get the offense that so many people have taken. Take some deep breathes. Pray. It really is a healthier practice to get up; get dressed and feel good and energized. Sure a pyjamma day, for fun, can be a good and special idea. It\'s when people are wearing pyjamma\'s or sloppy clothes because they are depressed and overrun that step back needs to be taken.

ELIZABETH K 10/26/2012 05:15:47

OK, I understand the intent of this devotional. But I take issue with the way it was presented. First, \"Dressed to Kill\' does not sound like the title of something aimed at encouraging moms or dads at home with their kids - it sounds like something on the cover of a fashion magazine. That is not our goal. I used to work everyday in a suit and heels, makeup and hairspray, meeting clients everyday, all day. Even so, I witnessed plenty of unprofessional behavior in people who were similarly dressed. And I have to say that I have had plenty of teachers at all levels who were sloppily dressed, by this author\'s standards, and some of them were the most effective. I do believe that it is very unkind to equate somebody\'s ponytail and sweats with being \"disheveled\" as I think of some friends who can pull of that look while being neat, clean and pretty. I agree with the essence of what is being said, but it comes across as being judgmental and you are putting a heavy, legalistic yoke on some who are already trying the best they can to not be overwhelmed by their circumstances. By all means, dress to kill if that is your standard of being presentable, but seek to bring life with your words.

JULIE M 10/26/2012 05:37:39

We just came from a family trip where we stayed with a family who\'s father worked out of the home office. I was surprised to see him dressed so nicely, down to his penny loafers, with a collared shirt, jacket and nice pants. I commented on how nice he looked and he said his father always taught him to dress for success and that how he kept himself affected his attitude toward his work. As the wife of a self-employed blue collar worker, I have often told my husband that on days he is not working out of the house, I enjoy seeing him dressed in clothes that aren\'t stained with dirt, or that have holes and small frays. As Christians, it is important to remember that we are on display, not only to our families, but to our neighbors, and those whom the Lord puts in our paths on a daily basis. I appreciate this reminder to present myself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord, whether I\'m snuggling with my kids in my pajamas, or leading them in a lesson at the kitchen table. I also know, when I pull out a favorite worn out or stained shirt from the dryer, and drop it in the rag bag, that God will provide a replacement, when it is needed.

CYNTHIA T 10/26/2012 05:43:59

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Thank you further for the devotionals. I choose to accept inspiration from this particular posting. I am a homeschooling teacher and a teacher at a homeschool academy, where I support other homeschooling families by teaching math to middle and high school students. I have also taught in the public school system. I try to be inviting in my appearance and mannerisms. I feel that if I am inviting to students, they may be more accepting of what I have to say. Homeschool offers the venue of outside and field experiences. These are inviting in and of themselves! Sometimes it is very inviting to have a pajama day, where things are very comfortable. The whole idea of teaching, it seems to me, is that students learn, both academically and morally. I find myself reflecting about how lots of things affect the learning atmosphere, not just appearance, but it is a factor. While I do not feel that I must dress professionally in my own home, I do want to be inviting. If I am not inviting, my child may not get my best. I try to give that to others; should I not also give my best to my very own? Of course I should. My best for my child may be a pajama day or a photographic journey of the salt marsh, yet both of these would require drastically contrasting attire. What I choose to wear invites the learning I am trying to inspire. Thanks for your ministry to us.

KATHY S 10/26/2012 06:00:30

I have homeschooled out of the Hospital in a unflattering Hospital gown, and I have homeschooled out of the Library where I look like a million bucks with hair and make up done, nice outfit etc. As this seems to be very contraversial today, maybe the Author just meant that if we look good, we feel good and will be more able to do our best. The Author always does such a nice job. I\'m sure no harm was meant. And yes, we are all entitled to our own opinions too. Have a Blessed Day everyone and think happy thoughts. Whether you are in your P.J. S, or all decked out, just do you best job, that is all that God asks, do our best!

RENEE M 10/26/2012 06:08:17

Wow! I usually don\'t comment, but the reactions to this devotional are very surprising and disheartening. I am a homeshooling mom of 16 years, and have 2 graduates with 4 still in school. I am glad that this devotional brings up the subject of how homeschool moms act in their own homes. We are supposed to be setting an example for our children. If we can\'t present ourselves in an appropriate way for our children\'s education, why should our children take us seriously?? The way we present ourselves tells a lot about us. I saw that some comments quoted the Bible verse regarding not worrying about the clothes you wear, etc. I think that verse\'s opposite is \"do not care about what you look like\", and that is not what the Bible means. We are Christ\'s ambassadors on earth and the way we look and treat others, both inside and outside of our home, matters. What are you training your children for? Do you want them to be respectful of themselves and others and dress appropriately? or do you want them rolling out of bed and dragging themselves off to work? Homeschool Mom, you have a job to do and you only have one chance to do it right. If you are dressed and ready for your children\'s school time, then they will see that you have their best interests in mind. If you can\'t even comb your hair or put on some nice clothes (something you wouldn\'t mind being seen in outside of your home) then don\'t be surprised when you kids do the same thing. Much more is \"caught\" than \"taught\".

LYNN H 10/26/2012 06:34:33

My first reaction was much like the others I\'ve read. Then I thought, this poor sister is trapped in legalism. Legalism can become a power over us and rob us of a life lived in grace. Grace Works by Dudley Hall is a great book. I\'ve been studying the Word from it\'s Hebrew roots for 3 years. Sometimes right down to the pictorial roots. It has been freeing, enlightening, and astounding. \"Reading the Bible in translation is like kissing your new bride through a veil.\" --Haim Nachman Bialik (Jewish Poet, 1873-1934). I feel so blessed that the Lord would give me such a gift as this. As the cobwebs are cleared away and He shows off for me in every fresh revelation of Himself, I am in awe of His love for all of us. I have been, and could be trapped so easily by doctrines of sinful man. I could labor under poorly understood language, mistranslations and man- imposed laws and fence laws. I am so thankful and humbled that I\'ve been gifted these fresh insights. I have to look at my brothers and sisters who still labor and pray that they too can be freed from whatever bondage they are unnecessarily under. They are still my siblings and I will stand beside them and stand in prayer for them, and loving them. I will not be joining them in their snares but I hope that seeing me walk free and just loving people will effect them. In the mean time, we are dealing with medical conditions that have kept our high schooler from attending school regularly and are taking this as an opportunity to redefine \"school\" and discover new ways to \"do\" education. We are free to create our own program that fits our circumstances. We pray for His guidance and ask that He leads and directs us to His end goal for us. It most definitely looks different from the standard classroom and I am not the standard teacher. I will dress for the day, learn as I go, and be lead by the Spirit. Let\'s stand up for our siblings in Christ who still labor in snares (we all have them). If you feel better in makeup and heels God bless you. If you feel more comfy in sneakers, slippers and a pair of jeans, God bless you. Neither is required attire for citizenship in the Kingdom. Let\'s help each other and support each other in raising our children to be lovers of the Word and Godly citizens and leaders who are in the world but not of the world. Walk in Truth and Light of the Lord. May the God of the Universe pour down His blessing on everyone today.

Carrie K 10/26/2012 06:48:23

I like to dress nice on a school day and fix my hair and make-up because it makes me feel good and like I\'m ready for the day. I feel like I get a lot more done that way. Seeing as I\'m in Nicaragua with no a/c and it remains at about 100 degrees on a daily basis, it is more geared towards comfort. I think homeschool teachers should do what works for them. My children who are 8, 6 and 4 run around and do their school work in their underwear because they get such bad heat rash from the heat. I did like this post...I didn\'t agree with everything in it, but I did like it. After all if we all agreed on everything what kind of world would we live in?

Andrea N 10/26/2012 07:24:44

Dress Your Best....Feel Your Best! I think its important to wake up and get dressed for the day just as though you were going to work. Also teaching the children to take care of there bodies is important and to be punctual are good life lessons. When I feel my best I can give my best. I want to set a good example for my 7 kids, that when you wake up you start the day off right . Plus I have found that it makes things alot more organized when we all stick to a schedule. Sure not everyday we are all ready on time but its a good habit to get into. Children learn by the example we set - Start the Day by doing your Best Look Your Best for God and Do your Best!

KATHY S 10/26/2012 07:31:30

Janet T. God Bless you for writing these devotionals. Everyone interperates diffrerently, so please do not be hurt from some of the responses. I just finished reading all of them and even though I realize we are all entitled to our opinions, lets think about the nice Christian woman that writes these FREE Devotionals each day so we can have some inspiration. We don\'t all have to agree, just being polite on this CHRISTIAN website would be good. Put yourselves in the Authors shoes. I know it is seldomn, but for instabce the other day I shared about a horrible experience I had, relateing to 2 other ladies, and suggested to be wise. I got a negative rating, first time in a year on here and I felt kind of bad as I shared something very personal. Now, lets think of the Author getting alot of negative \"page long\" responses for just sharing her feelings. I\'m sure I wouldn\'t like to be in her shoes today, would you? WWJD? Hang in there Janet! you are doing a great Job!

CHARITY M 10/26/2012 07:44:59

Every year when this devotion gets sent there are a ton of negative comments and I would encourage you to give it a second read. I too don\'t think the author is talking about being a fashion plate - but simply getting dressed for the job! You are doing the most important job in the world - AND you are doing it all day! Get up, get dressed, take it seriously! It is encouraging if you choose to take what you can from it! Who hasn\'t had the post office or FedEx or UPS pull up on a day when we haven\'t brushed our hair, and cringed at the prospect of opening the door in our pajama pants at noon? LOL! I like feeling like I am dressed and ready, not necessarily dolled up, but dressed, put together, dressed for work!

KIM W 10/26/2012 08:03:47

Just this morning as I sat eating breakfast (in my pj\'s, not even showered yet), my 13-year-old son looked at me and said,\"You\'re so beautiful.\" Maybe the compliment was intended by God for this post. I have a job outside the home in the afternoon, and our daily routine involves having breakfast together every morning and then starting our lessons. Over the following hours, between lessons, we all (myself, my 13-year-old son, and my two-year-old son) get ready for the day. It works for us. If anyone asked my older son what my attitude is towards homeschooling and my role as a teacher and a mom, he would tell you I take it very seriously. In turn, he takes it very seriously. My heart leaps for joy when I see both of my children sitting at the kitchen table with their books, pencils, and paper. My two-year-old is already getting into the habit by watching us work together and learn. I am reminded of the scripture in which Samuel spoke of David saying, \"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.\" (1 Sam. 16:7b). Praise God He does. Thank you for these devotions and for those who take their time and their experiences to share. We may not always agree, but we can continue to fellowship with each other.

DONNA B 10/26/2012 08:49:03

It is very clear from reading all of the previous posts many people were offended by this article. I have never posted a comment on the devotionals until today. Today I feel the need to speak with a kind word to remind everyone the author is trying to kindly remind us that even though we home school our children some day our children will be working in the real \"corporate\" world. Someday they will be leaders of our country. This is only a gentle reminder to make sure we teach them that the world does look at appearance and it does matter. It matters even to our Lord. We represent the Lord every time we present ourselves. It all goes back to respect for ourselves and others. We all know there is a great deal of lack of respect today for others. Lack of respect is not Godly. Please show respect to the author for caring enough to remind us.

TIFFANY B 10/26/2012 09:01:57

I found this devotional to be just fine. It doesn\'t say you can\'t wear your pjs ever and surely did not say what you had to wear...just that it was clean. I know I feel so much better with a shower and dressed out of my pjs. I\'m ready for whatever the day my hold like someone coming to my house or a friend or family member in need. I don\'t have to say oh wait an extra 30 minutes while I get ready. Plus most of all I want to look nice for my husband. Not in a \"dressed up\" skirt and heels kinda way but in everyday clothes, showered and maybe even some makeup. I read a book called the Fly Lady and she says to get dressed all the way to even wearing shoes...well I don\'t do the shoes part but I loved the rest. Fly stands for Finally Loving Yourself. There is more than just getting dressed in her books of course. And finally I like to be ready in the morning for MYSELF. Put on makeup, sometimes curl my hair, wear my favorite necklace. Why not?!?!

JULIE S 10/26/2012 09:21:46

I think the \"intention\" behind this message was right on. However, as reflected by many of the negative comments; the wording was probably not. This would have been much more well-received and interepreted if it would have been worded with a bit more care and understanding to what we homeschooling moms already have on our plates and are going through or have been through. I\'ve worked in the corporate world and I left it for several reasons some of which were I didn\'t like the \"dress up\" clothes and daily commute. So why would I do that at home and make myself miserable?? As a homeschooling mom that is also full time business person (more than full time because I own my own business), I was quite offended by this devotional right away, too. I NEVER seem to have enough time or energy to do all that needs to be done in a day. However, when I allowed God to speak to my heart and see the message that as intended behind the words that were written in today\'s devotional. What I read was this \"You are a beautiful woman created by God. You are the one and only YOU that he made. There are things you can do better each morning to help yourself feel like and be that amazing woman He knows you are? Not mainly for your husband, not only for your kids, but to do His work in the way He is directing you to.\" I don\'t put on makeup most mornings (my husband and son say I\'m just as beautiful without it ~ as I\'m sure God would concur) :), but where I need to take this devotional to heart is my attitude. It is not always the greatest. I often wonder \"What is this really worth in the long run?\" Today, I don\'t need to clean up my outer appearance like words in this devotional indicates - I need to clean up my inner appearance - my attitude toward the daily tasks, fires, and 10 million other things it seems are put on the \"to do\" list each day. Therefore, instead of taking the bait of satan and becoming offended by the message today, I\'m choosing to turn it around for good and ask God what it is He needed me to hear from it.

AMY C 10/26/2012 10:20:57

It is hard for me to understand how anyone took this message in an offensive manor! I to rarely do more than throw on sweats and pull my hair back in a pony tail. However, on days I do take the time to \"dress\" (jeans and a nicer t-shirt for me) I feel so much better and, in turn, my day with my kids goes better! Some people have chosen to read way more into this devotion then what I think was intended. Really unbelievable! Amy C.

JENNIFER S 10/26/2012 10:23:03

Poorly worded but well-intentioned, I\'m sure. As much as I\'d like to look as sharp as I did when I was working outside the home (active duty Navy) with my then two very young children in daycare, it\'s a bit tougher now that we have four children and a hubby who is always deployed. When my youngest are old enough to sleep through the night and I don\'t have two children at the door every time I use the bathroom, I\'ll start focusing on my makeup and such. Until then, my t-shirt and \"scrub\" pants will have to do. Something tells me my children are no worse for my lack of effort in my school-time appearance... in fact, let me ask them... I was right. They don\'t care! Perhaps they\'ll grow up to be slovenly pigs with no respect for authority... but I doubt it. Happy homeschooling to one and all...

TERESA S 10/26/2012 12:09:53

I have only a few clothes (even casual jeans and tops are kept aside for going out of the house). I live on a farm,l frequently going out to tend the animals, ect. So I wear scrubs and keep my hair up when it is hot. No one I knew wore make up when I was growing up. I might wear lipstick to church, but that is all that I need. I cannot afford to buy any clothes to replace what I have, so by default, all clothing, except scrubs, are put aside for outside the home. I do not take offense at the devotional.. I think some have over reacted on both sides of the issue. Certainly if I did not live where I get muddy as soon as I step off the porch, I might think about dressing up some.

MARIA M 10/26/2012 13:00:32

I found this article to be a healthy reminder to focus on ourselves once in a while! Our spouses head out the door into a world full of sexual temptations. It is our duty to put forth an effort. I understand it will not be an everyday occur acne, but some of us have grown lazy in this area & we make excuses. Our kids are learning by our example. Little Johny can\'t go to work like this when he is older. It also kills me to see women going out of their way to look great once they have gone thru a divorce. Maybe if we acted like we did when we landed our guys, things might get a little more joyful. I can tell a difference in my attitude on pajama days! God is good & I know he loves me either way!

Sally F 10/26/2012 14:23:41

Sherry R. Thanks so much for this encouragement! I know for a fact that My daughter feels better about learning when I show up dressed attractively and groomed!!!! It really seems that it boosts her morale and encourages her to be the best that she can be, God bless you for shareing this bit of God\'s heart. My husband sure doesn\'t mind the boosted morale either. I think it makes him feel that He matters in my world.

RUBYALLYN C 10/26/2012 18:15:19

Rubyallyn When I saw this devotional, I was also offended -- I\'m sorry to have to say. Sometimes parents have just enough energy to love these kids, put one foot in front of the other and nothing else. When someone says putting my hair up in a ponytail is \"cheating,\" I\'m saddened by their lack of understanding of real, everyday life. I think this devotional could be presented better. We have a busy plate on our hands in this life. We do not need shame to be added to it. Editors please reconsider how this subject is addressed. I agree I sometimes start slacking off, but I don\'t need someone shaming me about how I survive the everyday grind of life. Please tone down the perfectionism and just look to encouraging us.

TRISTA J 10/26/2012 19:10:59

I had an awakening lately on this subject. It was mid-morning when a non-Christian neighbor came to ask for our assistance. We were able to help her and afterward sent her on her way with some fresh-baked muffins and a drawing from my 3 year old. So everything was good..... at least I thought so! I later heard from another neighbor that while our assistance was very much appreciated, the lady in need was far less than impressed with our presentation. She did not think we represented either our faith or our approach to education very well with our slovenly appearance. We looked lazy and ill-prepared. I was hurt and offended and thought that she was not looking generously upon us because she was not Christian and was not seeing beyong the \"packaging\". I dismissed it because I didn\'t think her opinion mattered. After a few days reflection, I was sad and had to agree with her. Yes, my vessel is but clay and that is fine, God still loves me. But some may be missing the light of Jesus shining from me because I am not putting my best foot forward. I am now trying to at least be clean and presentable in case another opportunity to be a \"missionary\" comes up! I still won\'t be found in makeup and heels, but I could look a lot more together, even in sweatpants and a t-shirt!

MELANIE H 01/13/2013 18:40:37

I have a mixed reaction. There is a time for everything. We all have times of trying to get organized and trying to stay on a schedule and have everything just right. Other times that we focus on other areas of our lives. More than our dressing and appearance, I look at how prepared I am for school. Have I studied the lesson before the day of class. Have I found supporting hands on activities that make learning come alive. Do I have all my materials organized so that we don\'t stop learning to find the scissors for 20 minutes. We are a family of 6 children ranging from 17 years old to 2 years old. There are times that my older class gets up very early with me to get our difficult subjects done before the little ones wake. When we run this schedule we wake at 6 am and study until 8 am. At which point we stop, get dressed, eat breakfast and clean our rooms. Other time we do chores and breakfast before we start school. In my home, we choose a schedule and Mom and Kids live by the same expectations. That seems to work for us and helps us to become an educational team.

JACQUELINE C 01/18/2013 10:10:19

I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I am saddened by those who were offended and may have discouraged you. We all know that we feel better when we are clean, groomed, and orderly. Our children preform better when they are the same. You did not tell anyone specifically how they should dress, you just gave them some examples of what someone might do. The LORD has given us much liberty in the way we dress. I believe your point was how you dress can affect both yourself and those around you. I believe if we look carefully we will see that the Bible does require us to be modest and respectful in the way we dress. We want to honour God and represent Him well to others. Some of those others are our children. If we are women, and have a husband, then we want to please and honour him by the way we dress too. This was a great post to remind us that in ALL that we do, we want to do the best that we can to please and honor God. If this post does not apply to you and your household, then please don\'t be offended and realize that it is for someone else today. Let us all live peaceably with those around us and not be easily offended. Let us not afflict one another for we have enough attacks from the world around us. I know this is an old post, but I also know how much work and effort it takes to pour out devotionals for the benefit of those around you. Please be long suffering and forgiving as we are called to do. Let us build one another up. The LORD bless all that do His commandments.

JENNIFER ARNOLD 10/26/2013 14:15:04

What bothers me about this is not everyone who homeschools is well off. I have eight children and I homeschool. My nice clothing is reserved for outings. Sweats are cheap attire for the home. I even let the kids stay in there pajamas, especially when it is cold. They keep them warm in a drafty old house. My ponytail is to keep my hair out of my face, so I can do a good job and not be bothered by it all day. We aare not all able to afford the beauty shop regularly. I do not think I am not "convicted". I just think my time is better spent on my children. Not getting all prettied up. If I go out with my husband then I spend more time on my appearance. I believe God is less concerned with our appearance and more with our life. I also do not want to teach my daughters that appearances matter more than being a godly woman(Prov. 31).

Amanda Eisele 10/26/2013 15:00:11

As I read todays devotion, I had to check myself a little on the offended side and as I read through the comments I saw that this devotional WAS meant for some people and for others, like me, it was kind of a "what the hay?" moment. :) This past week was my first week of homeschooling my children and it was such a blessing to me, as have been these daily devotionals. I've come to find that most of them speak to me in some form or an other, but today's was obviously not meant for me because it didn't speak to me nor convict me, BUT that doesn't mean that it wasn't meant for SOMEONE. Not every message spoken is for everyone, but God is speaking to someone. I get dressed and get my children dressed everyday for our lessons because I feel that doing so helps to get them into a place to learn and focus. If we are still in our Pj's they feel as if it's lounging time and time to be lazy, and frankly, so do I. I think in getting dressed and ready for the day, we put our minds into "doing mode" and are therefore more productive than we would have been in our jammies. Now, I certainly don't dress to kill, I don't even own clothes like that! lol I dress in jeans and a tshirt, sweater, or hoodie and that is how my kids are accustomed to seeing me on a daily basis and what they are comfortable with. If I were to come out in a dress, skirt, or any form of something more than jeans and a shirt, they'd wonder where we were going today and what was going on and it would completely throw off our day. I often have on a little bit of makeup, but nothing that takes me longer than 5 minutes and can be done while they are eating breakfast or doing their morning chores. Oh, and I often do have my hair in a ponytail, but I find that I can focus more on what I am teaching them when it's not in my face all day. To each their own right? We all have different ways of dressing and we all have things that work for our family and things that do not. We shouldn't judge each other on these things. What works for you won't work for another and that's ok, you do what GOD leads you to do to bring glory to Him and instills His love and light into your home and your children. If this message didn't touch your or convict you, move on, it wasn't meant for you, but realize that there were others who needed it and received what God had for them out of it. Praise Him for using these messages to reach those that need it!! :)

JOANA BAUMANN 10/26/2013 17:46:28

I'm afraid Matthew 6:25-34 does not apply to what was mentioned at this post because in context these verses refer to anxiety. He is not talking about worrying about clothes as it would apply to looks and fashion but as to worrying about lacking, not having what you need. I also don't think the blogger meant to criticize those moms who cuddle with their kids still in their pajamas to read a book. I believe this post was meant as a call to evaluate ourselves as to how we are carrying ourselves before our children. Women who let go of themselves and frequently look unkempt because they are at home might not be portraying good stewardship to their children and if we care about presenting ourselves with dignity when at the workplace or outside our homes why not honor our family the same way? That sometimes may reflect how seriously we take this fall the Lord has given u Peace .

LORENA COMEAU 10/26/2013 19:42:59

An appropriate response to somebody who has challenged you is to Have an Open Mind. Attacking the person and her words indicates conviction in many cases. There is a difference in Going-all-out and just brushing your hair and putting on clean, practical clothing. Consider what Cheryl M said, how her son asked her to dress nice; many children will not say such a thing out loud as they have been taught to be polite. But I think it does send a message,-. and don't forget to SMILE when your children come out for breakfast! Kids are not insensitive to the little nuances in the home. Lorena

Kelly Summers 10/27/2013 00:20:25

I love this devotional. I love the prayer.

REGINA CALCUTT 10/27/2013 12:07:54

Just thinking how each year I read this devotional I am in a different season of life. It means something different personally each time. After all these years reading this devotional I still think just changing that phrase "dressed to kill" would still get the writer's point across and probably not as many negative responses.

Renee Dillenbeck 10/28/2013 03:19:55

I am new to homeschooling, but I love comfy clothes and I don't feel like a slob in them and I don't think my kids judge me either. I understand this message and think it was taken the wrong way maybe. I felt criticized at first as well, but I think it's more than just about what we are wearing. I eat healthy meals and exercise and stay in good shape, but I also love wearing sweatpants. I feel great in them and my kids love that I take care of the body God gave me.

Julie Kasprzak 11/01/2013 04:15:46

I wear casual sweats as pajamas on days I don't get dressed, so neighbors won't know they're pajamas when they drop in. Stress avoided. There's nothing more stressful to me than a surprise visitor when we are in obvious pajamas. (Like the ones with pictures). So for me, Pajamas have caused much embarrassment, and even a few times of hiding pretending I wasn't home. So if I'm wearing obvious pajamas I get dressed to avoid stress later if there's a knock on the door! As for my husband and son, they give me more compliments when I'm not dressed up. Go figure. We all need to find our own groove, the main thing is to be happy with our very precious job in Gods eyes. He doesn't care what we're wearing, He cares that were focused on our children. The clothes and hair are our own issues. Fix yourself up or don't, your children really only care that you love them and spend time with them and that you are happy with how you look. Because if you're happy in your pajamas they are happy too. I don't remember any outfits or hairstyles my Mom wore!

MICAH JONES 10/27/2014 16:33:55

I've asked for advice from veteran homeschool moms over the years, and I've never had anyone say that their success or trials had anything to do with what they wore or whether their hair was in a ponytail. Prayer, the Word, and love are where it's at, not your closet. I'm canceling my subscription.

Amy DeClue 10/27/2014 16:34:04

I am honestly more disturbed by the mean comments than I was the devotional. I love the daily devotionals, even if I don't feel like it's aimed toward me for the day. I do take a shower, get dressed, and put on makeup every day before homeschool. Although, I will be honest, it's more for me than the kids. I WANT to feel good about the way I look and I want to set a good example for my kids when it comes to dressing for school, work, or church. That is my opinion and conviction. It doesn't have to be everyone else's. If you feel better in sweats, then go for it, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you call yourself a Christian THINK about the words you speak or type before you submit them. The mean responses to this blog post are anything but true, lovely, honorable, or pure (Philippians 4:8).

FELECIA ALMY 11/05/2014 14:05:26

Good idea, I bought my girls a uniform to wear for classes that I taught them at home. If I felt it important enough for them to look and feel/fit the part, it would be just as important for me to look the part as their teacher. Our goal is to get our children prepared to function outside of the home and what we teach them inside it is of the utmost value. When I don't get dressed, I don't get a lot accomplished because I feel like I just want to lounge around. We should care enough about ourselves to look presentable. We don't have to look like beauty queens but we don't have to look like something the cat drug in either. Let our dress also be something we teach our children as well, especially if we expect them to land a decent job to support themselves or their families. When I was young, my mother insisted that when we came out of our room to start our day, we needed to be in our clothes and out of our pi's. I wasn't homeschooled but that was part of my education.

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